LA CRESCENTA — On average, the members of the Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team spend 15-20 minutes per practice working on man-advantage opportunities.
It showed, as Crescenta Valley took advantage of most of its extra-player advantages to keep its season perfect.
Crescenta Valley scored on seven of its 10 man-advantage situations Thursday afternoon to record a 15-7 Pacific League home victory against Glendale.
"We try a little bit everyday to work on it," said Crescenta Valley Coach Pete Loporchio, whose team improved to 19-0 and 4-0 in league. "We were as efficient as we could be at times.
"When we draw an ejection, we look at where the ejection came from and then we set our play up around that. We got some big goals by doing that."
Crescenta Valley, ranked third in the latest CIF Southern Section Division V poll, scored on its first four man-advantage chances and never let Glendale (10-8, 2-2) back into the match.
Elissa Arnold, Nayiri Kechichian, Sabrina Hatzer and Katie Benson each scored extra-man goals in the first quarter to give the Falcons a 4-1 lead. After the Falcons built a 5-2 advantage after the first quarter, they then scored three goals — one by Hatzer with the man-advantage — to extend their lead to 8-2 at halftime.
Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook, whose team is No. 7 in the division, said Crescenta Valley's ability to draw ejections off counter-attacks proved to be the main difference.
"They had a few of those ejections and they were able to put the ball away," said Holbrook, who received a team-high four goals from Desiree Ivett Garcia Solano. "One of the problems we've had all season is starting off slow.
"We got off to a slow start and CV came out fast. I'm happy with the way we played and it's great practice for us going into our [league] games against Arcadia and Pasadena. I also feel like we will be more prepared for CV should we play them in the league tournament."
Arnold and Hatzer paced Crescenta Valley, which won the league championship last season, with four goals apiece. Kechichian and Shannon Hovanesian scored two goals each for Crescenta Valley, which got one from Ashley Taylor, Breanna Lawton and Benson.
"We wanted to get up on our counters early and then work on our defense," Arnold said. "We wanted to be able to capitalize on the odd-man chances.
"Even though we are 19-0, we feel like we still have a few things to work on."
Venus Payandeh and Madeline Corpuz each scored a goal for the Nitros.