The Burbank High boys’ soccer team has done quite well early on in the Pacific League season. But Thursday afternoon it was quite evident early on that Crescenta Valley is the team to beat in league.
The Falcons earned a 3-0 win over Burbank at Kemp-Kallem Field in the second of two meetings between the schools.
“A lot of these (CV) kids have been together for 10 years. They have had a program in place for 14-15 years now. It is a huge difference. We have some catching up to do. Other than that, we were a step behind in the middle. They kept winning the ball and we paid for it,” Burbank coach Robert Romero said.
The Falcons (12-1 overall, 6-0 in league) relied on keeping things simple. They did not rush passes, showcase any fancy individual moves and showed a high level of confidence as everyone appeared to have a solid understanding of their roles. Burbank had to earn every opportunity it got, and there were not many.
CV got on the board in the ninth minute when Owen Denisiu took advantage of a Burbank defensive error and put the ball past goalie Hayk Tovmasyan.
Burbank (7-4-1, 3-2-1 in league) did not give Falcon goalie Miles Vallejo any trouble in the first half.
The Falcons added a second goal in the 29th minute after they were awarded a penalty kick for a challenge on Adam Lorek.
The senior promptly put the penalty into the left corner of the goal.
Tovmasyan had seven saves in the first half.
The Falcons added a goal in the 43rd minute as left-sided midfielder Grant Hovhannisyan fired a fly ball cross from the left side into the right corner of the Bulldogs’ goal.
Burbank’s Andrew Rodriguez fired a long-distance shot at Vallejo in the 47th minute, but it didn’t give Vallejo any trouble.
The Bulldogs’ best chance came in the closing minutes as Artyom Shahverdyan’s cross from the left side went through and nearly caught the right post until Vallejo pushed it away.
Crescenta Valley coach Kurtis Millan acknowledged one of the keys to the success of his team.
“It is a credit to the players. They have worked hard over the years. We have a roster of 21 players, 18 of them are seniors, 13 of them play together on the same club team and have done so since they were eight or nine years old. I’ve been lucky to be working with them for three years at the high school, and at the club for the last six years.”
Millan said his team did well adapting to the conditions Thursday.
“We know Burbank is a tight field, so we have to take care of the ball and I think we did it,” he added.