LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — In its 2-0 loss to host La Cañada in a pool-play match of the 2009 Ralph Brandt Tournament on Saturday night, the Crescenta Valley boys’ soccer team didn’t miss many opportunities.
Then again, the Falcons weren’t able to create all that many in the first place, as the Spartans maintained a solid possession advantage during the first half of play and outshot Crescenta Valley, 22-7, on the game.
“We’ve played pretty well, we’ve been keeping the ball somewhat decently, but we’ve struggled in our attacking third,” said first-year Crescenta Valley Coach Kiel McClung, whose team had just two shots on goal, both coming in the second half. “I think that’s just going to take a little more time of us being on the same page because we have very dangerous attacking players. Some, I think, we’re not using them properly and that’s probably the difference.”
The Spartans were led by a pair of goals from junior forward Cameron Meeker, who opened scoring during the 37th minute on a run up the middle, beating diving Falcons goalkeeper Stefan Eng on a shot into the right corner of the net.
With 25 minutes left in the match, Meeker put La Cañada up, 2-0, with a splendid left-foot shot across his body into the right upper corner from 25 yards out.
Meeker narrowly missed adding to his goal total twice inside the final 20 minutes of the second half, misfiring by the slimmest margin on two good looks.
Crescenta Valley (0-3-1) dropped to 0-1-1 in the tournament and will resume play in the consolation bracket on Friday.
The Falcons got shots on goal from Raimond Baghoomian and Gor Grigoryan and five saves from Eng, who played the entire macth.
“I think our defense has actually played very, very well this season, “ McClung said. “I thought our strength was going to be our attack in the preseason, but our goalie, Stefan, and our back four have been playing very well.
“Even If we defend all day, they’re evetually gonna break through if we don’t put them under a little pressure.”