LA CAÑADA-FLINTRIDGE — Revenge was measured in trophy size and prominence in Saturday’s 32nd annual La Cañada High School Tournament.
A day after suffering its first defeat of the season, the host La Cañada High boys’ soccer team exacted a small measure of vengeance in topping Glendale, 4-0, in the tournament championship game.
“We wanted to strike while the iron was hot and while the loss was fresh in our minds,” said La Cañada Coach Alex Harrison, whose Spartans (9-1-2) were defeated, 3-2, by Glendale on Friday afternoon. “Yesterday was definitely a burning poker in our eyes and we wanted this game.”
Speaking of strikes or strikers, La Cañada senior forward Armand Bagramyan proved an unstoppable force Saturday in scoring two goals and being directly involved in a third.
Bagramyan was part of a Spartans surge that netted two goals within the first 10 minutes and quickly took Glendale (5-3-1) out of the contest.
Bagramyan may have been most impressive in the ninth minute, when the striker stole possession away from a Nitros defender 40 yards from goal in leading a quick two-on-one counter-attack with teammate Lawrence Ku streaking down the home sideline.
Yet, Bagramyan didn’t pass, but instead drew goalie Alisher Babussinov (seven saves) away from the net before lacing a 20-yard goal near post that put La Cañada up, 2-0.
“Yesterday we underestimated Glendale and they took advantage of that. Today, we came out ready to play,” Bagramyan said. “We wanted to score earlier because we knew that would motivate us and not motivate them.”
The score came four minutes after the Spartans opened with a goal in the fifth minute on the match’s first shot attempt when junior defender Austin Gartside crossed from the right corner just outside the 18.
Gartside’s pass was redirected by Nicholas Pereira 10 yards from goal to teammate Armaan Zare, who banged home the score.
The score remained at 2-0 until a 15-yard missile from Bagramyan in the 45th minute was deflected by Babussinov two feet in front of the keeper.
Unfortunately for Babussinov, he was unable to stop a rebound goal from Andrew Meeker that put the Spartans up, 3-0.
The home team’s final goal came in the 75th when Bagramyan punched in goal No. 2 on a 10-yard sidewinder that scored far post.
“After three days, we were just too tired today,” Glendale Coach Artur Aghasyan said as to the reason behind the reversal of fortune. “We also did some mistakes in the first 10 minutes that made it hard to come back.”
The Nitros were outshot 14-5, but did have a 65th minute goal from senior Andre Andreasian on a 20-yard shot off a free kick negated because of a penalty in the box.
Freshman midfielder Serozh Kirakosyan also created a pair of solid scoring attempts, the second in the 35th minute when his 15-yard shot hit off top right corner of the crossbar and out of play.
Spartans goalie Graham Labran-Boyd finished with three saves.
Earlier in the day, El Monte defeated La Salle, 5-2, for third place in the tournament.