First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
It was a tough loss for the Glendale High School boys’ varsity water polo team, as visiting La Cañada snapped the Nitros’ two-game winning streak, 18-11, last Friday in a nonleague contest.
Glendale kept the game tight and competitive until LCHS used a big third quarter to take control en route to the victory.
“We were actually missing three of our starters because of quarantines and stuff like that,” said Narek Vardanian, Glendale’s head coach. “It changes the rotation every single game. We haven’t had a full squad, I think, except for one game. People stepped up, and they kept it close for the majority of the game. We just kind of lost it in the end.”
The first quarter opened with a head-to-head battle as both teams scored five goals. LCHS took an early 3-2 lead, but a goal by Glendale’s Arthur Lazaryan tied the game with 3:45 left to play.
After that, the two teams traded goals until Glendale’s Gregory Carrillo landed the final score of the quarter to tie it, 5-5, with 1:20 left to play.
La Cañada struck first in the second quarter but the tide quickly turned for Glendale as consecutive goals by Arthur Lazaryan and Arno Ghazaryan gave the Nitros their first lead, 7-6, with 2:51 left to play.
The last two minutes were a dogfight that saw two lead changes, with the visiting Spartans holding a 9-8 lead at halftime.
Down by one, the Nitros fought their hardest to stay afloat. Glendale’s Arthur Lazaryan scored to tie the game at 9-9 with 6:37 left to play.
The Nitros’ regained the lead with consecutive goals by Arthur Lazaryan and Carrillo, putting Glendale ahead 11-10. However, the Nitros, were held scoreless in the final quarter as the Spartans went on an 8-0 run to end the game.
“Even in the fourth quarter, even when we were down, [Artin Ghazaryan] still wanted the ball. He still showed me that he wanted minutes, he wanted the ball, he wanted to try and score,” Vardanian said. “Greg as well. He was our sprinter. He still wanted the ball, so I liked that he didn’t decrease his intensity at all.”
Carrillo had a team-high five goals while teammate Arthur Lazaryan added four goals. Both Arno Ghazaryan and Hamlet Tadevosyan scored once. Meanwhile, goaltender Hayk Mkrtchyan registered five saves.
“Artin and Arno, they stepped up. Arthur [Lazaryan] did as well. He just kind of carried a bigger load than he normally does,” Vardanian said. “Robert [Lazaryan] stepped up, as well. Sometimes he has started, sometimes he hasn’t, but just like Arthur, he carried a bigger load today so we appreciated that.”
Glendale (7-5 overall record) played visiting Brea Olinda of Orange County on Wednesday and lost 15-8.
Photos by Sebastian Moore / Glendale News-Press