Spotless league run for Falcons

LA CRESCENTA — Having already wrapped up its second consecutive Pacific League championship, the Crescenta Valley High boys' soccer team had one other goal to meet in its regular-season finale Thursday afternoon — finish unbeaten in league.

It took some time for the Falcons to accomplish that feat, but second-half goals from Alex Berger, Ray Abghary and Pavle Atanackovic helped the host Falcons net a 3-0 league win against rival Arcadia.

Crescenta Valley improved to 13-2-5, 11-0-3 in league and will await who its first-round playoff opponent will be when the CIF office unveils its pairings Monday. It marked the first time in the program's history that it went without a loss in league.

"Everyone realized that the goal would be to win every game in the second half of league after going 4-0-3 in the first half," said Crescenta Valley second-year Coach Kiel McClung, whose team captured the league championship Tuesday with a 3-0 home victory against Glendale. "We wanted to win against the teams we tied and it took a phenomenal effort to be able to do that.

"It's hard to go 7-0 [in the second half of league], given how unpredictable this league is. We beat a lot of good teams in league and I'm proud that we were able to go undefeated."

The Falcons scored their goals in an 11-minute span en route to sweeping the two-match season series against Arcadia (3-13-3, 2-9-3).

Berger gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead in the 65th minute. Abghary made it 2-0 in the 75th minute off a pass from Jaehoon Jung before Atanackovic scored his team-leading 31st goal of the season a minute later.

"We were able to stay together and we all worked hard," Berger said. "With every game, you come in knowing it will be tough.

"We started playing better in the second half. It's great to win league, but it's even better to go undefeated."

Crescenta Valley sophomore defender Eric Keshishian picked up a red card with 15 seconds left in the match for tripping up an Arcadia player. He will be required to serve a CIF automatic one-match suspension and will not be available for the Falcons' first-round match on Feb. 18.

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