By Michael BRUER
The Crescenta Valley High School soccer team won Wednesday’s matchup against Burbank High School 7-0, improving its record to 18-4-3, 7-3-1 in the Pacific League, holding firm as the third place team. Sevag Hamamah and Matt Ryan each scored two goals, and goalkeeper Adan Martinez made four saves.
The Falcons sought to exact their revenge Monday night against the Pacific League leader Burroughs in a matchup in Burbank. The Falcons lost the previous contest on Jan. 13, 2-1. In Monday’s game, though, CV was unable to find the back of the net and were on the losing end of the 1-0 match.
The game was intense with players on both squads earning yellow cards and being warned on multiple occasions for reckless play. The Falcons hoped for a different result and, according to their coach Grant Clark, they devised a plan to achieve that.
“In order to keep better possession of the ball we played a little bit different formation and just worked on supporting the ball – that’s what it comes down to,” Clark said. “I thought the guys played great, they played the formation really well, and just couldn’t get that goal.”
Senior forward Matt Ryan and junior midfielder Justin Wright, who lead the team in goals and assists respectively, linked up on numerous occasions in the final third, but to no avail. Ryan’s first two shots came off crosses from Justin: the first sailing over the crossbar, and the second skewing to the right of the post. Burroughs countered minutes later with a counterattack that was foiled by the Falcon’s defense.
One chance for the Indians came from junior forward Ashot Veisyan who stole the ball from the CV defenders and lofted it into the box, connecting with senior forward Milosh Petko. Petko redirected the ball on frame, but without enough power to beat the sure-handed Falcons’ goalkeeper, senior Adan Martinez. Clark praised Martinez’s performance between the pipes.
“I thought Adan’s save on their forward was big,” he said. “I thought the backline really played well today – especially the centerbacks Auggie [Augustine Ahn] and Ara [Nazaryan] and Daniel Eng were able to do a good job of cleaning up. That’s one thing we preach: that everyone has to do their job and do their job well, and then hopefully we’re able to clean up anyone’s mess.”
The two teams continued to trade goal opportunities with Burroughs forcing Martinez to come off his line on multiple occasions to intercept a long ball at the top of the box. Two of the more promising chances for CV in the first half came at the feet of junior forward Jason Winicki and fellow junior midfielder Kevin Ginosian. Winicki’s opportunity came midway through the first half, when he took a shot on goal off a set piece that forced Burroughs’ keeper to make a save, grabbing the ball just under the crossbar. Ginosian also rocketed a shot at distance that nearly beat the keeper to the top right corner, but was deflected out of bounds.
The second half proved to be the deciding factor and ultimately the difference in the game. The Falcons continued to press forward, but found themselves playing more defense than offense.
Burroughs made their chance count finally in the waning minutes of the game when junior midfielder Andres Aguilar lofted a ball to the back post where senior forward Brandon Gerlach was waiting. Gerlach redirected the ball, beating Martinez for the game-winning goal.
“I think it’s more disappointing that we weren’t able to capitalize on them,” Clark said. “We knew we were going to have chances, especially with the quality of our team. Give Burroughs credit – they held a shutout, but this team that I have, they are good soccer players. To get as many chances as we did – honestly I felt like we could have a couple more, but we just couldn’t finish that last touch on the ball.”
CV hosts Pasadena at
3:15 p.m. on Friday.