Nitros boys' soccer team starts off strong

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Before the season began, Albert Chamagua had his role clearly defined — carry the offensive workload.

Chamagua, a senior forward on the Glendale High boys' soccer team, wasted little time carrying out the responsibility Monday.

Chamagua provided the early spark, as he scored in the fifth minute to help host Glendale begin its season with a 2-1 nonleague win against South El Monte.

"I like the pressure," said Chamagua, who finished with four shots on goal. "It gives me more confidence and it's like a challenge that I want to take on.

"It's big to start off the season with a win. We all want to win [the Pacific League]. It won't be easy, but we are going to try our best."

Glendale, which finished sixth last season in league and didn't qualify for the playoffs, also got a first-half goal from Nareg Ghazikhanian and kicked off a new regime under first-year Coach Artur Aghasyan.

Glendale limited South El Monte (0-1) to three shots on goal, all in the second half.

"We are on our way to our goal, and that's winning the league championship," said Aghasyan, who got strong defensive efforts from Leon Mardirossian and Andre Andreasian. "Our defense played solid, we got that huge goal early and we know what we still need to work on.

"It was important to get that goal so soon. It gave us the confidence we needed knowing we could start controlling the game. Albert will be one of our important players."

Glendale spent most of the first half on South El Monte's side of the field.

Chamagua led the charge after staking the Nitros to a 1-0 lead. He nearly made it 2-0 in the 31st minute, but his shot toward the open net was stopped by defender Erick Barrales with goalkeeper Christopher Castillo out of position.

The Nitros made it 2-0 when Ghazikhanian took a nifty pass from Leo Magardechian and rolled a shot off the inside off the far left post in the 33rd minute.

South El Monte, which won the Mission Valley League championship last season, cut the deficit in half in the 62nd minute. A header by Sador Rangel Sanchez struck the crossbar and ricocheted to Francisco Varela, who beat Glendale reserve goalkeeper Alisher Baibussinov.

The Eagles nearly tied it with about nine minutes left. Mario Acosta lofted a 30-yard shot that landed just over the crossbar.

Glendale didn't allow a shot on goal in the first half.

The Nitros will next take part in another nonleague road match at 3 p.m. Monday against Blair.

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