LA CRESCENTA — Scoring goals certainly hasn't been a problem lately for the members of the Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team.
Pasadena found out first-hand Thursday afternoon during a Pacific League match just how explosive the Falcons’ offense can be after they set a season-best goal mark.
Shannon Hovanesian finished with six goals and Ashley Taylor and Elissa Arnold had five apiece to lead host Crescenta Valley to a 28-4 victory.
Crescenta Valley (14-1, 3-0 in league) eclipsed its season best goal total of 24, set Tuesday during a 24-0 league victory against visiting Hoover. Pasadena dropped to 6-12, 0-3.
“I told them that we needed to come out with some more intensity because we have some good competition coming up [Friday and Saturday in the America’s Finest City Tournament in San Diego] that will have CIF implications,” said Crescenta Valley first-year Coach Brent Danna, whose team is ranked third with Warren in the latest CIF Southern Section Division V poll. “We needed to shake off any rust that we might have and get off to a good start.
“Things looked good, from our cross passes to our two-meter offense.”
Crescenta Valley, the defending league champion, set the tone early by racing to an 8-0 advantage against the stunned Bulldogs. Four Falcons scored in the four-minute stretch, including two each from Taylor and Arnold.
Taylor said the Falcons have concentrated on beginning matches with good starts.
“It’s critical to get those early goals because you can breathe a little bit easier,” Taylor said. “Everybody knows where they are supposed to be.
“We want to prove that we can win league.”
Crescenta Valley, which has reached the semifinals the past two seasons, made a believer out of Pasadena, which ranked 10th in the division.
“When you play a team like that, you try to learn and get more experience,” said Pasadena Coach Jennie Jacobsen-Huse, who got a team-high three goals from Claire Taylor. “We knew Shannon would be a force for them.
“We’ll see what we can take from this and try to do better executing on the little things. We have to be able to move the ball around quicker.”
Taylor ended Crescenta Valley’s first-quarter surge with a goal to trim the deficit to 8-1 with 2:03 left. The Falcons held a 20-1 halftime advantage, capped by a goal from Hovanesian with 11 seconds remaining.
Crescenta Valley limited Pasadena to mostly shots from the perimeter.
“I was impressed with our lane defense,” Danna said. “It made it hard for Pasadena to move the ball around.
“Right now, we feel like we are in a good spot. We are getting faster and stronger each week. We feel like we can still improve, though.”
The Falcons got three goals each from Katie Benson and Lynley Fernandez. Any Aghakhanian registered a pair of goals for the Falcons, who got one each from Cameron Campbell, Breana Lawton, Caitlin Connell and Audrey Taylor.
Pasadena, which got one goal from Aria Hueso, will next participate in a nonleague match at 3:30 p.m. Friday at San Marino.