GLENDALE — After a slow beginning in the Pacific League, things have turned around for the Glendale High boys’ soccer team. That’s not the case for Burbank.
Glendale and Burbank competed against each other Tuesday in the first of two league meetings. Thanks to a career-best effort from Avo Haroutunyan, Glendale gained the upper hand.
Haroutunyan finished with seven goals and one assist to power host Glendale to a 12-1 win against Burbank at Moyse Field.
Haroutunyan had four goals in the first half to spur the Nitros, who improved to 9-5-2, 3-2-1 in league. He then added three goals in the second half. The Nitros are 3-0-1 in their last four league matches after opening with road defeats against Crescenta Valley and Burroughs. Burbank dropped to 2-8, 1-5.
“After we lost our first two league games, we all realized that we had to put our foot on the gas pedal and play our game,” said Haroutunyan, a junior forward. “We had to get back to the way we were playing [before league] and we knew we could do that.
“None of the things I did [Tuesday] would have been possible without the help of my teammates.”
Glendale, which finished fourth in league last season and appeared in the postseason, broke the match open with three goals in a five-minute stretch in the first half to take a 3-0 lead.
The Nitros began their offensive surge when Haroutunyan made a nice cross to senior forward Menua Nazarian, who beat Burbank starting goalkeeper Andrew Hank in the 13th minute. Haroutunyan then recorded a natural hat trick in a 16-minute span to make it 4-0.
Burbank didn’t record its first shot on goal until the 33rd minute by senior defender Raymond Shideler. Junior midfielder Berj Ghazarian and Haroutunyan each then scored a goal two minutes apart to close out the first-half scoring.
“We were able to break out after the first 10 minutes,” Glendale Coach Artur Aghasyan said. “We were able to finish off our scoring opportunities.
“We became more confident with our game after losing the first two games in league. Avo is still understanding the game. You have to remember he’s still a junior and he’s improving.”
Glendale received a pair of goals from junior forward Levon Petrosyan to begin the second half. Petrosyan’s first goal made it 7-0 in the 50th minute before padding the advantage to 8-0 in the 54th minute.
Burbank’s lone bright spot came in the 59th minute, when senior defender Orbel Golanians converted on a penalty shot to slice the deficit to 8-1.
Haroutunyan made it 9-1 less than a minute later before junior forward Aram Atamian extended the lead to 10-1 in the 68th minute. Haroutunyan then scored goals in the 72nd and 76th minutes to close out the scoring.
Burbank Coach Loi Phan said the Bulldogs weren’t prepared Tuesday after registering a 3-1 league win against Hoover on Friday.
“We were terrible and it starts with me because I didn’t get them ready to play against a good team,” Phan said. “We were just not ready to go.
“I think we panicked after giving up that first goal after we played OK in the first 10 minutes. I really thought we’d come out ready to play, but we didn’t.”
Glendale and Burbank will meet again at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Burbank.
Glendale will next meet crosstown rival Hoover in a league match at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Hoover. Burbank will take on crosstown foe Burroughs at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Burbank.