By Alan DER OHANNESSIAN
The Falcons cruised past Burbank, five goals to one, in their opening match of the season. Eager to defend their title, the current Pacific League champions were looking for a strong start at the contest held on the CVHS field on Dec. 15.
Before the beginning of the match, head coach Kiel McClung told his players to control the first 10 minutes of the game. The Falcons listened to his direction.
Midfielder Vahe Nalbandian got a pass from one of Falcons midfield players, however his shot went wide. On another possession, the Falcons were rewarded with a free-kick, but Nalbandian’s shot swerved over the left side of the cross bar.
The Falcons solid offense paid off as forward Pavle Atanackovic got a pass from midfielder Alex Burger to put it past Burbank’s goalkeeper Ryan James Tiegs. However, Burbank responded with a goal off a counter attack that left forward Maxwell Joseph Trautmann open and put it past Falcon goalkeeper Nick Ruiz’s right side.
The Falcons let little time pass as it once again attained the lead when midfielder Burger played a lob to Atanackovic who put it past the Burbank goalkeeper.
Despite the lead, controversial calls by the referee regarding handball frustrated the Falcons as they headed into halftime with a one-goal advantage.
Nalbandian played a pass to midfielder Eric Kesheshian inside the penalty box, however it was offside. A persistent attitude with repeated attacks resulted in a third goal of the game. Burger played a cross pass into the penalty box to Atanackovic who slid the ball past Burbank’s goalkeeper yet again.
The Falcons didn’t let up and it showed on the scoreboard. On another possession, a Falcon midfielder’s shot was deflected off the Burbank goalkeeper’s feet, but Atanackovic was ready for the rebound and put it into the empty net for the fourth goal.
Their final Falcon goal came in through another assist by Burger. He played a cross pass into the penalty box where Atanackovic put it past the goalkeeper in a scenario oft repeated.
Falcons coach McClung believed it was the players’ technical advantages that led to their success.
“We’ve got very technical players in the middle,” he said. “Pavlov put the icing on the cake.”
The Falcons next play Burroughs High School at Burroughs on Friday at 3:30 p.m.