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Crescenta Valley boys' soccer edges Hoover in league opener

Having gone winless over its first five matches to start the Pacific League last season wasn't something the Crescenta Valley High boys' soccer team wanted to revisit.

That's something that remained in the mind of Henry Barkhordarian, who wanted to help the Falcons get off on the right note in league this campaign.

Barkhordarian responded with a big effort, registering a goal and an assist Tuesday to help host Crescenta Valley register a 3-2 win against Hoover in a league-opening match for both teams

"We definitely didn't want to fall in that big of a trap again," said Barkhordarian, a senior forward who picked up All-Area first-team honors last season and has already scored six goals in four matches this season. "I think we learned a lot from that last year and we know that any points you can get in league are going to very, very valuable.

"It's huge to start off league with a win, especially against a tough team like Hoover. We got a couple of goals [in the first half] and I think we tired them out a bit. Then Hoover made that comeback in the second half."

Crescenta Valley (4-0), which finished third in league last season, scored two goals about three minutes apart in the first half to take a 2-0 lead over the visiting Tornadoes (2-2).

Sebouh Oshaganmade it 1-0 off a nifty pass from Barkhordarian in the 22nd minute. The Falcons extended their lead in the 25th minute when Ryan Sanfilippo headed in a throw-in from Zander Bakunowski.

"I think those two goals shifted the tide in our favor," Crescenta Valley Coach Grant Clark said. "To get that second goal was a big deal and it gave us some more momentum.

"We tried to break Hoover down in the first half and we had a lot of ball possession. Give Hoover a lot of credit for coming back in the second half. You just realize how valuable three points can be, because it's going to be a real tough league."

Crescenta Valley extended its lead to 3-0 in the 55th minute. Barkhordarian took a pass from Joseph Ma and beat Hoover goalkeeper Anthony Flores with a low shot.

Hoover, which placed sixth in league last season, seized momentum following Barkhordarian's goal. The Tornadoes scored twice in a seven-minute span to slice the deficit.

Romio Sislian, who received All-Area second-team accolades last season, made it 3-1 following an assist from Steven Avelar in the 61st minute. The Tornadoes made it 3-2 when Jesus Rodriguez, who also earned All-Area second-team honors, scored off a pass from Tigran Hovhannisyan in the 68th minute.

Anthony Flores kept it a one-goal contest with a diving save off a shot by Dallas Kaauwai in the 73rd minute before Crescenta Valley goalkeeper Luis Flores made a save inside the box on a shot by Rodriguez in the 76th minute.

"The one thing you know about CV is that it is disciplined and drilled well by Grant," Hoover Coach Ace Metallinos said. "We made too many individual mistakes in the first half and they capitalized.

"In the second half, we played high-pressure soccer and started to get some good scoring opportunities. I liked the way we came back in the second half. We just need to put it all together and we'll be fine."

The teams will meet again at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at Hoover.

Crescenta Valley will meet Glendale in a league road match at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Hoover's next league contest will be at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at Burroughs.

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