First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
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 afternoon.
CVHS improved its record to 5-0-2 overall (2-0-1 in league). 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).
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.
The Bulldogs played a much more energetic and competitive second half despite not scoring, limiting the Falcons’ possession and registering a few shots on goal. Antanesyan also added two saves — an attempt inside the danger zone by Gong (56th minute) and a 13-yard bullet from CVHS senior Ian Rodriguez (73rd minute).
“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.”
Offensively, Burbank midfielder Erik Gharibian missed a 15-yard attempt in the 45th minute and Falcons junior goalie Miles Vallejo caught BHS midfielder Abraham Rivera’s attempt.
Bulldogs midfielder David Agababian’s corner kick nearly went in the goal, but Vallejo deflected it into play.
With two minutes remaining, Andrew Rodriguez’s 10-yarder hit the left side of the goal post in Burbank’s bid to snap the shutout.
The Bulldogs have nearly three weeks off before resuming Pacific League play at rival Burroughs High on Friday, Jan. 7, at 3:30 p.m.