First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
The Crescenta Valley High School varsity boys’ water polo team was defeated by Burbank High, 12-5, at Arcadia’s Aquatic Center in the Pacific League championship on Thursday.
The Falcons finished with a 5-3 league record (11-15 overall) and secured a CIF playoff berth. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs finished a perfect 8-0 in league and improved to 19-2 overall.
The Falcons opened the first quarter with a goal from Andre Akopyan with 6:28 remaining, but it was downhill from there as the Bulldogs scored 10 consecutive goals over three quarters.
“[Burbank] is a physical team. They are a strong team … so we struggled to adjust, and that was very clear in the scoring drought,” said Jan Sakonju, CV’s head coach. “We had the first goal to open up the lead and it was actually a beautiful shot.”
Akopyan snapped Burbank’s 10-goal scoring run with six seconds remaining in the third quarter to make it 10-2.
Arthur Movsesyan and Jacob Choe combined for three Falcon goals in the fourth quarter.
CV goalie Eric Yoon did his best to limit the damage with 11 saves.
“On three of those goals in the fourth, we were able to get that timing down, passing down, just driving to the position we needed to go and some highlight goals of the season, which we need to take into CIF,” Sakonju said. “To be in a championship game is a precious thing and CV has not been in a championship for many, many years. I am extremely proud and ecstatic that we got into the championship game.”
The Falcons will be making their first CIF playoff appearance for the first time in six years in early November after the CIF-SS releases the boys’ water polo bracket.