GLENDALE — With only two matches of preparation before the start of Pacific League play, the Crescenta Valley High and Hoover girls' soccer teams met Tuesday afternoon with more questions than answers.
Despite uncertainties, it was the Falcons who delivered a victory with an exclamation point in dominating throughout for a 7-0 victory at Hoover High.
Senior Nikki Collins tallied one goal and two assists for the Falcons (2-1), while senior Natalie Misetich totaled two assists.
Overall, the Falcons outshot the Tornadoes (1-2) by a 22-4 margin, while 10 Falcons contributed a goal or assist, or both in the case of Collins.
"It's weird that, in your third game, you're already playing league, although you're just trying to jell as a team," said Crescenta Valley Coach Tyraysha Peterson, whose squad finished second in the Pacific League last season. "So, we had to capitalize when we had chances and take advantage of set pieces. It doesn't matter what the score is or who you're playing, converting set pieces is a big part of the game."
The Falcons were fabulous Tuesday with four goals off set pieces, including the first two scores from Misetich on corner kicks.
Misetich assisted Shelby Reif in the seventh minute before passing to junior Nicole Yim for a goal in the 33rd minute, which put the Falcons ahead, 2-0.
"As a team, the focus was for all of us to connect together and keep up the pace," Misetich said. "At halftime, we all talked about stepping up on our speed, on our connecting and spreading out the field. As a team, we definitely did that and that's what helped us score and win the game."
It appeared the Tornadoes would trail 2-0 going into the break. However, Crescenta Valley's Amy Giboney sneaked in a goal right before the half while falling to the ground from eight yards on a pass from Kaitlyn Ryder in the 40th minute.
In the second half, the Falcons kept up the pressure, as Collins scored in the 48th minute to give Crescenta Valley a 4-0 advantage.
Collins then assisted Emily Jabourian in the 60th minute, before assisting Alison Kwan a minute later to push Crescenta Valley to a 6-0 advantage.
Sophomore Brianna McReynolds closed out the scoring with a goal in the 63rd minute off an assist from Ani Mazmanian to put the visitors ahead, 7-0.
Despite her team taking firm control of the contest midway through the second half, Peterson said she couldn't relax until the contest's end.
"The win is never already in hand, not in soccer," Peterson said. "Soccer doesn't work that way. You have to earn it and you don't really let up. You play your game and work on possessions. Plus, it's only our third game of the season."
As for Hoover, there were bright spots.
The Tornadoes held the Falcons 26 minutes between goals in the first half, while the squad arguably outplayed Crescenta Valley in the first six to eight minutes of the second half.
Hoover's lone shot on goal was a crisp blast stopped in the 68th minute, while a follow-up rebound shot from Radha Jagasia just clanked off the crossbar.
"I told my girls that I'm not happy with the result, but that there were pieces of this game that I felt we played well and that hasn't happened in a while against Crescenta Valley," Hoover Coach Sarah Strange said. "We were strong in the first part of the second half and that's what we'll try to build on, honestly.
"The other thing is that it's difficult to open league against CV having only played two games. I would to have loved to play this game a month later, but that's not the way it goes."