By Brandon HENSLEY
The Crescenta Valley High School girls’ water polo team dispatched its CIF first-round opponent Downey on Wednesday at Burbank High, 13-3.
The Lady Falcons entered the playoffs as reigning Division V champions, and were ranked third in the division at season’s end. They captured their fifth straight Pacific League championship last week.
Against Downey, the Falcons started slow offensively but their defensive pressure was solid all game. The Vikings scored once in the first quarter, but not again until the fourth.
Head Coach Brent Danna said it was a solid win, but if the team wants to repeat, it’ll have to do better in the week ahead.
“Little things that we can fix defensively,” Danna said, “like when the girls are sliding instead of swimming and denying position [to the other team]. When you slide you’re slow and your hands are down which makes it look like you’re holding.”
Senior Elissa Arnold led the Falcons with four goals. Three of those came in the third quarter after a tough first half in which numerous shots of hers were thwarted. Audrey Taylor, Ashley Taylor, Ani Aghakanian and Lynley Fernandez each had two goals.
Sophomore Mackenzie Drewe got the start as goalkeeper, and Tiffany Duarte replaced her in the second half. Last year in goal the Falcons had Gabriel Isacson, who was All-CIF. She’s gone, and Drewe and Duarte split time, which has so far worked out. The Falcons were 22-6 in the regular season.
“I was really nervous because I wanted to come through for the team especially because I’m a sophomore, but I kind of used the nerves and excitement to my advantage,” Drewe said.
CV plays on the road Saturday in the quarterfinals against the winner of Temescal Canyon and Citrus Valley. Those teams played Wednesday evening.
Drewe said her nerves might not calm down by then.
“No, I think they’re probably going to get bigger as they go along,” she said with a laugh.
“It’s CIF, and the girls are fully aware that it’s win or go home,” Danna said, “so that’s in the back of their minds but it’s good to play with that apprehension.”
Boys’ Soccer Update
The CV boys’ soccer team won its wild card playoff game at home on Tuesday against Highland, 3-1. Augustine Ahn, Justin Wright and Matt Ryan each scored goals in the victory.
The Falcons, who are ranked 10th in Division III, will play Placentia Valencia today at 5 p.m. The Falcons beat Placentia last year in the playoffs 3-2.