By Eli LOCKE
The Crescenta Valley Falcons came into Wednesday night’s Nov. 17 game ranked first in the division, facing the number 3 ranked Pasadena Poly Panthers for the third time this season. In recent years, the Panthers and Falcons have met many times in the playoffs, with the Falcons coming out on top in their last two playoff contests. The Panthers finished league play undefeated and with an overall record of 21-3, two of those losses being to Crescenta Valley.
At the start of the game, both teams seemed fairly evenly matched, as both played excellent defense with goalkeeper Rane Colvin blocking several attempts early on, keeping the score at 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter continued much in the same way, with the Falcons struggling offensively but showing a very strong defensive presence. Unfortunately for CV, the Panthers soon managed to break through their defense, scoring two goals seemingly one after another, gaining two points.
The Falcons took the ball at the start of the third quarter, however Poly spirited it away after a missed shot at the goal, forcing Colvin to make another great defensive play. Despite the Falcons defense, Poly scored twice more in the third, at which point the Falcon coaches called a time out, hoping to turn the game around.
After play resumed, CV showed improvement as Robby Ruzicka scored the Falcons first goal of the night. That score seemed to ignite the Falcons, with Alan Dearman scoring another goal to bring the Falcons to within two.
Moving into the final quarter, fans of both teams appeared “supercharged,” cheering on their respective teams with a tremendous amount of energy. Much like their fans, players on both sides seemed to step up their game in the hopes of continuing their run in the playoffs.
Despite a great steal by senior Jack Snyder, the Panthers had a lot of success, moving the ball down the pool for another score. Poly scored again after getting a penalty shot, bringing their lead to four. The Falcons continued to fight throughout the remainder of the quarter, however failed to score again and the game ended with a final of 6-2 in favor of Pasadena Poly.
Although this game ended the Falcons playoff hopes, they took home the victory of playing a great season, winning league yet again, and advancing to the semi finals.
The Panthers will play La Serna High School in the division Championship this Saturday (11-20-10) at Irvine High School.