Falcons’ Comeback Victory Falls Short, Force Draw with First Place Pasadena


The CV boys’ soccer match against Pasadena High School ended in a 2-2 draw Tuesday afternoon in a game that saw the hosts erase a two-goal halftime deficit.

The visitors from the other side of the 210 freeway, who currently sit in first place in the Pacific League, have only suffered one defeat in league play all season, coming at the hands of Crescenta Valley when the Falcons won 3-0.

Pasadena commanded much of the first half of play. While controlling possession heavily, the Bulldogs had several scoring chances and drew first blood at the 15-minute mark. Midfielder Vladimir Lopez sent a cross into the box where centre-forward Fernando Simental was left uncovered and sent a volley over the hands of CV’s goalkeeper.

A penalty was awarded 12 minutes later after a handball inside the box was called on a Falcon defender and the Bulldogs successfully converted to take a 2-0 lead into the break.

The second half began much like the first ended. CV had trouble connecting passes, creating opportunities and keeping the ball out of their side of midfield.

At the 67th minute, though, the Falcons broke through. Senior Talon Carvalho sent a pass downfield, finding a streaking Argin Baharians, who was able to fight off defenders and, with a soft touch, volleyed a shot over the keeper and into goal.

Just five short minutes later, Baharians added the equalizer. Following a cross that deflected off the keeper’s hands, a Bulldog defender attempted to clear the ball and the Falcons’ star forward lifted his leg high into the air and connected with the ball to squeeze it just inside the left goal post.

Baharians, who normally has his way with opposing defenses, was mainly a nonfactor for the first hour of the match. He was heavily double teamed by Pasadena’s centre-backs and was unable to get more than a second with the ball at his feet before being suffocated by defenders.

  “I think it was more of our lack of execution,” said Falcon Head Coach Grant Clark. “We were missing passes. First touch wasn’t there for some of the guys. We were picking the wrong pass. [Pasadena] is a good team, but we were doing them a lot of favors by not connecting.”

But Crescenta Valley’s confidence was surging and earlier frustration turned into focus. Within minutes, a match that appeared to be well in Pasadena’s control was squandered. Momentum suddenly shifted into the Falcons’ favor.

Things became chippy in the final 10 minutes of play as both squads were fighting to keep each other out of their respective sides of the field. Several rough challenges were made on each end, eventually leading to the referee drawing a double-red card – one on Pasadena’s Vladimir Lopez and one on CV’s Ervin Gregorian. Each will be forced to miss the next match.

The 2-2 draw Tuesday does mean that Clark’s men have yet to suffer defeat in league play this season, with a 5-0-4 record. The Falcons though remain in second place behind the Bulldogs (7-1-1).

“There’s so much left in the season,” said Clark postgame. “Especially getting the point [today] that keeps us within striking distance. We still have so much that we need to work on ourselves. Yeah, we need some help, but we’ll be alright.”

The Falcons take on Burbank High at home on Friday at 3:15 p.m.