LA CRESCENTA — Lisa Kang showed some grit to help keep the Crescenta Valley High girls' soccer team atop the Pacific League.
Kang went to the net twice and was rewarded each time during a Pacific League match against visiting Burbank on Monday.
“You are told to go to the net and anything can happen,” said Kang, a junior forward who scored a pair of second-half goals to lead Crescenta Valley to a 3-1 victory. “You have to be ready at all times.
“The first goal hit off my nose and the second off my head. Burbank has got a good team and we are here on our home field to win.”
The Falcons (12-3-1, 9-1 in league) gladly took Kang’s contributions, even if she briefly felt the sting of the ball striking her body on a chilly afternoon. Burbank dropped to 11-8-1, 6-3-1 after losing its second league match in a row.
The Falcons, who have won four consecutive league championships and are ranked No. 4 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division III poll, got one goal from Rachel Bird to complete the two-match season series sweep against the Bulldogs. Clarissa Guerrero scored the lone goal for the Bulldogs, who suffered a 4-0 home loss against the Falcons on Jan. 9.
Crescenta Valley Coach Jorden Schulz said Kang did precisely what the Falcons needed her to do throughout the close match.
“That’s what it takes, and you’ve got to get in there and follow up on a shot or pass,” Schulz said. “She’s pretty solid and she’s not afraid of going to the ball.
“Burbank is always a hard game. We had to push until the end.”
Crescenta Valley opened the scoring in the 13th minute when an uncovered Bird beat Burbank starting goalkeeper Brianna Jacobo inside the left post.
Burbank’s best first-half scoring chance came in the fifth minute. Guerrero took a pass inside the box and rolled a shot that Crescenta Valley starting goalkeeper Emily Johnston speared.
Crescenta Valley controlled the pace early in the second half, with Kang taking charge.
Kang took a nice pass from Katie Callister and directed the ball over the goal line off her nose to extend the advantage to 2-0 in the 44th minute.
Burbank responded about nine minutes later when Guerrero got into the goal crease and headed in a bouncing pass from Maddie Carlborg to slice the deficit in half.
Kang closed out the scoring in the 73rd minute off an assist from Olivia Bird.
Burbank Coach Eric Montoya said he was pleased with the Bulldogs’ effort.
“I’m impressed with the way we played,” Montoya said. “We had some good quality scoring chances.
“They are working well as a unit and that’s what we take away from this game. They are playing to the best of their ability.”
Crescenta Valley and Burbank will host league matches Wednesday. Crescenta Valley will take on Hoover at 3:15 p.m. Burbank will meet Glendale at 3:30.