Lopez heads in late tie

ARCADIA — With an indirect kick having been awarded his team during its Pacific League road match against Arcadia on Monday afternoon, Hoover High boys’ soccer Coach Kevin Cadenas decided to revert back to a play that had previously been successful for the Tornadoes.

It again proved to be a boon for Hoover, as Luis Lopez headed in an indirect kick from Sarkis Tumasyan in the 78th minute to give Hoover a 1-1 tie.

Lopez scored a similar goal last season against Glendale, something Cadenas hadn’t forgotten when presented the same scenario Monday.

“That’s the thing with Luis, he knows how to score using his head,” said Cadenas, whose team is 2-3-1 and 1-1-1 in league. “He’s done it a couple of times before, and he scored an exciting goal that we needed.

“Arcadia dominated most of the game. To get a 1-1 tie here, we will take it.”

The improved Apaches (4-1-2, 2-0-1) dictated the flow for the majority of the 80-minute match and appeared to be on the verge of turning back the Tornadoes when Diego Gonzalez intercepted a poor clearing attempt and beat Hoover goalkeeper Argin Haghoubian with a shot just inside the left post in the 70th minute to make it 1-0.

Hoover then caught a break, leading to the direct kick and Lopez’ heroics.

“On that play, you get that feeling that you can score,” said Lopez, a senior defender. “I just dove and did it on instinct.

“It was a perfect play by Sarkis. We knew that we couldn’t give up and we just had to keep on pushing.”

Haghoubian kept Hoover in the contest, making several big stops. In the 63rd minute, Haghoubian handled a header by Jack Heer near the goal line to keep the match scoreless. In the first half, Haghoubian made a diving save off a shot by Anthony Rivera.

Haghoubian finished with nine saves, including five in the second half. Arcadia goalkeeper Yusuf Elamasri had six saves.

“We will take this point any day,” said Cadenas, whose team posted a 6-3 league home win against Muir on Friday after beginning league Jan. 3 with a 1-0 loss against visiting Burroughs. “Arcadia had more possession with the ball, so we are happy with [the point].”

Hoover will play host to Arcadia at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 25.

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