First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
It was a milestone type of an afternoon as Crescenta Valley High School junior Lukas Elze’s hat trick carried the Falcons over visiting Burbank High, 3-0, in a Pacific League boys’ soccer game on Thursday.
All three of Elze’s first-half goals helped the Falcons (5-0-2 overall record, 2-0-1 in league) remain unbeaten while scoring the most single-game goals by a CV player this season. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs fell to 2-2 in league play (3-2 overall) while being shut out for the first time on the field. (Burbank previously forfeited a league game against Glendale High on Friday, Dec. 10, officially losing 1-0).
“It was a good game for Lukas; congrats to him. That’s something we’ve been working on and it finally paid off,” CVHS assistant coach Makan Afzali said about Elze’s hat trick. “He’s very good on the set pieces, he’s good in the air and we trust him.”
The Falcons created several offensive opportunities to score for themselves in the first half while limiting Burbank to only a few chances.
CVHS senior Jaeger Wyss’s 16-yard attempt (17th minute), senior Alex Tambascia’s 25-yarder (21st minute) and junior Matt Sheen’s header (22nd minute) were all saved by Bulldogs goalie Erik Antanesyan.
Falcon junior Luis Gong’s shot on goal from 10 yards in the 45th minute deflected off the top of the goalpost and bounced out of play.
The Bulldogs played a much more energetic and competitive second half despite not scoring, limiting the Falcons’ possession time and registering a few shots on goal. Antanesyan also added two saves — an attempt inside the danger zone by Gong and a 13-yard bullet from CVHS senior Ian Rodriguez.
“We came out slow in the first half. We had quite a lot of players unavailable, but that’s no excuse for how slow we started,” Burbank head coach Ray Adoti said. “We gave up two early goals, which is unacceptable. It’s not the level that we’ve been playing at all season and I look forward to playing them again, that’s for sure.”
The Falcons won’t resume playing until after the new year and will travel to Hoover High for a Pacific League game on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 3:30 p.m.