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Indians trying to shake early-season struggles

Edgar Melik-Stepanyan

The last time the Crescenta Valley and Burroughs boys’ soccer teams

met in a nonleague match, Alex Ludwig was still searching for answers

and Michael Kodama was pleased with his team’s performance.


A year later, the tables have turned, as Kodama’s Burroughs team

has struggled in the early going and Ludwig’s CV squad has turned


The Falcons surpassed last season’s win total with Wednesday’s 2-1


victory against the visiting Indians, who dropped to 1-3-2.

CV’s Michael Farah scored the winning goal in the 77th minute off

a free kick from 20 yards out. The left-footer’s shot caromed off a

player who was formed in the wall and fell in the bottom right corner

of the far post.

“I just tried to curve it to the outside,” Farah said.

CV -- which went 3-15-2 last year and started the season 0-11-1

before defeating Glendale in a consolation match of the Newhall Hart


Tournament -- improved to 4-3-2.

“We have a good team,” said Ludwig, who is in his second year at

the helm. “Everything is working together and everything is strong.

“We don’t have individuality. They are playing as a team.

Everybody is helping each other. That’s why we’re looking pretty


They looked impressive against the Indians, despite not having

senior starting forward Boem-June Kim, who might be out until January


because of unspecified academic reasons, according to Ludwig. Kim had

scored five of CV’s seven goals and assisted on the other two this


CV also got a little help from the Indians’ inexperienced defense,

as Guilermo Diaz, making his first start, scored an own goal in the

12th minute.

“It was a combination of [miscommunication between Diaz and

goalkeeper Kevin Cadenas] and inexperience,” Kodama said. “It happens


The Indians -- who defeated Encino Crespi, 3-2, on Monday at home

in the 12th annual Brandt/Burroughs Tournament for their only win --

increased the pressure in the midfield and broke through numerous

times, but couldn’t get a shot past CV goalkeeper David Song (five

saves) until the 75th minute.

Off a corner kick by Estevan Cruz, senior defender Jason Salazar

flicked the ball in a crowd of players just inside the right corner

to tie the match before the Falcons applied the pressure to score the

winning goal.

“We tried to press up higher and put more pressure on CV,” Kodama

said. “We just made a couple of adjustments.”