By Alan Der OHANNESSIAN
The Crescenta Valley girls’ soccer team had difficulty controlling the tempo of its match against Pasadena on Tuesday, but eventually turned it up to beat the Bulldogs 5-0 at CV High School.
“We came out flat,” said CV Coach Jorden Schulz of Tuesday’s game.
With the win, Falcons improved to 14-3-2 overall, 11-1-1 in the Pacific League. Today’s match against Arcadia will help determine the winner of league. Arcadia comes onto the field today tied with CV, and Burroughs is two points behind both teams. CV is the defending league champion.
CV midfielder Lisa Kang found Karina Costilla inside the 10-yard area for an easy shot at the goalkeeper, but she was called offside, building Pasadena’s confidence. The Bulldogs had two free-kick opportunities in a span of one minute. They came close to scoring on the second one, but keeper Emily Johnston managed to keep it out of the net.
The Falcons lacked communication within their midfield players, and Schulz was looking for a cohesive effort from her team.
“They need to tell each other, so everyone knows where the ball is going instead of guessing,” she said.
Eventually, the Falcons started to gain control of the match, turning the tide for CV.
“[The midfield] stepped it up, started to control the game, distributing the ball where we wanted,” said Schulz. “Our outside (left, right, midfield) started to make better runs. Things fell into place.”
Midfielder Rachel Bird found Katie Callister within nine yards. Her shot sailed wide and the coaching staff was pushing the team.
“Work, work ladies, come on,” they yelled.
On the next possession, the Falcons almost scored. Forward Sierra Rhoads made a cross pass to Kang. Kang couldn’t time the ball for a clean shot and it rolled into the goalkeeper’s hands.
Defender Nicole Bird played a lob aimed at the inside of the penalty box, but the goalkeeper intercepted it.
With 11 minutes remaining in the first half, the Falcons scored. Midfielder Tiffany Austin passed to Rhoads from 25 yards into the penalty box and she put it easily into the net.
With three minutes before the end of the half, the Falcons missed an easy goal that left Schulz shaking her head.
Midfielder Ani Hemelians found Austin for a cross pass. The ball went past the defenders and the goalkeeper, but Austin couldn’t control the ball and it missed the empty net, hitting the top bar.
But it was the second half that the Falcons started their barrage of scoring.
Within five minutes, Whitley Boller found Rhoads within 10 yards from the net and put it easily to the right side. Then Bird found Rhoads for a lob, taking the ball on the fly and putting it to the right side of the goalkeeper. Just two minutes later, Itzia Villegas was left wide open and her shot blasted through the net for the third goal.
A scarce minute later, Boller had another shot 20 yards away. She scored as the match neared its conclusion.
The coaches credited their flexibility for their offensive success.
“We always try not to have a ‘go-to’ player,” said Schulz. “If you have a lot of players who can make great runs, score and get in the right position, we’re more dangerous.”
UPDATE: The Lady Falcons lost to Arcadia Thursday afternoon 4-0, making CV the second-place finisher in league. Southern Section Division III playoffs begin next week.