By Alan DER OHANNESSIAN
The Falcons beat Pasadena High School 3-1 Wednesday in their bid to defending their title. After drawing to a two goal tie with Muir High School, the Falcons were looking to get back on the winning track.
Although it was a sunny afternoon in La Crescenta, things looked otherwise for the Falcons.
The team got off to a slow start as they conceded an early goal through a free kick. Forward Kelvin Ponce-Cortez lobbed the shot past the Falcons goal keeper Nick Ruiz.
Adding insult to injury, the team was making defensive mistakes. Defender Matthew Bracht mishandled the ball letting one Pasadena forward move on it, then getting close to the goal; however, his teammates bailed him out leading to a Pasadena corner.
Things got to a boiling point when midfielder Alex Burger tackled hard and was awarded a yellow card. His teammate Pavle Atanackovic, still bitter about a previous call, complained and he too got a yellow card.
However, the Falcons shook off their rocky start and focused on the goal.
Strong teamwork between midfielders Vahe Nalbandian and Micheal Schanazarians led to a good opportunity for midfielder Jaehoon Jung whose shot struck wide to the right side of the goal.
In another attempt, midfielder Nalbandian’s free kick shot ventured over the post. Eric Kesheshian played a lob to midfielder Jung inside the penalty area but the shot was blocked by Pasadena defender Edgar De La Torre.
Despite the Falcons’ attacking mode, Pasadena did manage to stay in the lead going into halftime but weren’t able to maintain it in the second half.
Defender Bracht played a long pass to forward Atanackovic who got the ball and put it past two defenders and Pasadena’s goalkeeper Jimmy Castillo.
The Falcons fortunes improved as they scored another goal just a few minutes later. Captain and midfielder Salar Hajimirsadeghi’s free kick lob was snatched by midfielder Jung who kicked it past Castillo into the right side of the net.
The third and final goal came when Burger passed
it to Atanackovic who put it
past the goalkeeper, reminiscent of his first goal of the Falcons.
Head coach McClung said the key was Captain Hajimirsadeghi.
“He’s such a good presence for us in the middle … in a sense [he’s] the engine,” said the coach. “He was covering a lot of ground.”
The Falcons next play Glendale High School on Friday at 3:30 p.m.