Crescenta Valley boys' soccer dominates en route to Hart tournament final

NEWHALL — It's not often in sports that a team can honestly say that it did everything it could have wanted to.

But that's exactly how the day went for the Crescenta Valley High boys' soccer team in its 7-0 victory over Dos Pueblos in the semifinals of the Hart High tournament on Saturday afternoon at The Master's College.

The Falcons scored in the opening minutes of action on a goal from Matt Ryan off an assist from Tony Royer and the duo duplicated the feat midway through the half to give Crescenta Valley a 2-0 lead early on.

"You come out a little lethargic," said Ryan of having played three games in the previous day and a half. "But to get a goal, everyone loses the tired legs and you're ready to score more."

And score more they did.

On Friday, Crescenta Valley dominated possession in a victory over Valencia and a draw with Granada Hills, but struggled with its finishing in both contests.

Saturday was a different story.

The Falcons (10-1-2) advanced to the semifinal with a 5-0 victory over Panorama City earlier in the day and finished with precision against Dos Pueblos (10-2-1).

The team showcased strong possession and ballhandling skills throughout the backline and midfield, enabling it to find its talented forwards up top for what were often times easy goals.

Crescenta Valley increased its lead to 3-0 on a beautiful cross from Justin Wright that was headed into the upper right corner by Eric Hartoonian, before Wright scored a goal of his own to make it 4-0 at the half.

With just under 20 minutes remaining in the game, Hartoonian scored again, followed by goals from Henry Barkhordarian and Sevag Hamamah.

"Down to the 23rd guy, everyone could start at any other school in the state," said Crescenta Valley head coach Grant Clark. "It makes it hard to set a lineup."

The Falcons will now face tournament host Hart on Monday in the final at 1 p.m.

"That's going to be a good, physical team," Clark said. "Watching Hart, we felt they would be similar to how we play. It's going to be a tough game, you won't see a 2-0, 3-0 score."

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