Crescenta Valley girls' water polo makes it four straight in win over Burroughs

BURBANK — From the moment the members of the Crescenta Valley High girls’ water polo team take to the pool deck before the start of the season, they are given a reminder.

With expectations already high before the message is sent to the players, there’s the matter of first continuing to keep the most recent tradition alive in the form of winning a Pacific League championship.

Crescenta Valley kept the streak in tact, as it received three goals from Shannon Hovanesian to post a 14-1 victory against Burroughs on Thursday night in the league’s tournament championship match at Burbank High to clinch the title outright.

“It’s a great feeling to keep the streak going and to move forward toward the playoffs,” Hovanesian said. “It’s great to be a part of that tradition.

“We back each other up. Every practice we work toward the goal of winning league.”

Crescenta Valley, ranked No. 1 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division V poll, improved to 27-2, 8-0 in league. Burroughs, 10th in the division, dropped to 13-9, 6-2. Both of Burroughs’ losses came against Crescenta Valley, including a 17-4 defeat Jan. 30 at Crescenta Valley

The Falcons, who opened the tournament with a 17-4 win against Pasadena on Tuesday, received two goals apiece from Elissa Arnold, Breana Lawton, Katie Benson and Any Aghakhanian. Crescenta Valley’s pressure defense led to eight counter-attack goals.

“We mentioned to the players before the game that in order to maintain our No. 1 ranking we had to win tonight,” said Crescenta Valley first-year Coach Brent Danna, who got one goal each from Ashley Taylor and Caitlin Connell. “We’ve tried all season long to keep that going.

“It’s also important to keep the tradition of winning league going. We reaffirm to the players coming to CV before the start of the season that we want them to be a part of that tradition. [Former Crescenta Valley Coach Pete Loporchio] did a great job of laying the foundation for this stretch of success.”

Crescenta Valley scored five first-quarter goals to grab a 5-0 advantage. Arnold had two goals in that stretch, with her second giving the Falcons a 3-0 lead with 3:31 left.

Lawton made it 6-0 with 5:04 to play in the second quarter. Hovanesian closed out the first-half scoring as the buzzer sounded to make it 7-0.

Aghakhanian, Benson, Hovanesian and Audrey Taylor each scored a third-quarter goal to give the Falcons an 11-0 lead.

Burroughs, which began the tournament with a 5-2 victory against Glendale avoided the shutout when Emilee Holgate scored with 1:23 left in the fourth quarter to trim the deficit to 13-1.

Burroughs Coach Danny Garcia said the Indians received a good test from the Falcons to help them prepare for the postseason.

“CV will be the No. 1 team in the playoffs,” said Garcia, who got seven saves from goalkeeper Ahasha Earwood. “They play such fantastic defense and they are extremely well-coached.

“We kept battling and didn’t want to get shut out. I feel like we are now peaking at the right time. I think we can make a good run in the playoffs and just maybe make it to the semifinals.”

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