By Alan DER OHANNESSIAN
Having suffered a one goal loss to Pasadena in their previous soccer match, the Falcons were eager to redeem themselves at the contest held on the CVHS field on Dec. 3.
However, it was the Spartans that came out aggressive at the beginning of the game. Forward Marc Kaesler got a pass from one of the midfield players and was alone with the ball; however, Falcons goalkeeper Nick Ruiz dived and kept the ball out of the net drawing a collective sigh of relief from fellow Falcons on the sidelines.
On another possession, midfielder Spartan Arash Mahbouhi passed the ball to forward Matthew Canatta whose shot just ventured over the crossbar in another missed opportunity for the Spartans.
La Cañada kept pushing as Kaesler played a cross pass into the penalty box only to be intercepted by CV. In another lost opportunity, a Spartan midfielder played a lob to Kaesler who missed the header, with the ball narrowly missing the right side of the Falcons goalkeeper.
Frustrations mounted on the Falcons side as midfielder Vahe Nalbandian got tangled with Spartan Canatta, both vying for the ball, with Nalbandian pushing Canatta to the ground. Canatta got up and pushed Nalbandian back as the referee gave them both a yellow card. This may have sparked further distraction as Falcons midfielder Alex Berger missed a goal opportunity as his shot ventured over the cross bar going into halftime.
Going into the second half, Falcons coach Kiel McClung told his team to set the tone in the first 10 minutes. His words became action as the Falcons took an aggressive stance on the field.
During a possession, Falcons captain Salar Hajimirsadeghi presented a free kick lob that was intercepted by Spartans goalkeeper Tyler Jones. However, Nalbandian picked up the deflection and shot the ball, which hit the upper crossbar leaving him to look to his bench in disbelief.
In another possession, a Falcon midfielder played a lob to forward Pavle Atanackovic who dived for the header only to go wide over the crossbar.
Despite CV’s aggressiveness, La Cañada held their ground and came close to scoring a goal. During a possession, midfielder Nick Tourani passed the ball to Canatta, leaving only the goalkeeper for the net, however it was called as an offside.
Overall Falcons head coach McClung was pleased with the team’s effort.
“We had a great defensive effort from our entire group,” he said.
The Falcons next play Alemany High school at Alemany on Monday at 3:30 p.m.