Arcadia, searching for its first league championship in program history, got a match-high six goals from driver Robbie Pusic. When Pusic wasn’t busy scoring, Arcadia senior goalkeeper Mitchell Fricke turned aside a flurry of Glendale shots that mostly came from the perimeter.
Glendale couldn’t amount a similar plan of attack to that of Arcadia’s. The Nitros, who last won a league championship in 2002, never appeared comfortable battling the Apaches.
“We didn’t follow our tactical plan,” said Glendale Coach Bob Zirovich, who was tabbed the News-Press Coach of the Year last season. “We wanted to come out trying to create more movement with our drivers, and we just hung out.
“We turned the ball over too much. Arcadia’s quicker in reacting to counter-attacks. Perhaps we were intimidated [by Arcadia being top-ranked]. I don’t know why we didn’t do the stuff well like we have in the past.”
Arcadia got two first-quarter goals apiece from Pusic and Wesley Yao to grab a 6-0 lead.
The Nitros, who placed sixth in league last season, got a team-high three goals from driver Arman Galstyan. Galstyan scored on a pair of five-meter shots, including one that narrowed Arcadia’s lead to 15-6 with 4:56 left in the contest.
Arcadia Coach Janice Clark said the Apaches needed a good start to quell the Nitros.
“We haven’t started out well in the first two quarters of our last two matches,” Clark said. “I made it an emphasis for us to come out strong because we respect Glendale as a team.
“It’s a first for us being [top-ranked in CIF]. It certainly gives you an incentive to stay focused. We’ve come close to winning league a lot of times, but we just didn’t finish.”
Glendale couldn’t finish on its numerous scoring opportunities. The Nitros peppered Fricke, who made 14 saves. The Nitros also had problems converting on three man-advantage chances, mostly because of Arcadia’s willingness to keep Glendale athletes clear of Fricke.
Glendale, which opened league Oct. 2 with a 27-12 home win against Burroughs, received two goals from driver Vaspur Ovasapyan and one each from Vahe Karimian, Vinny Agemian and Davo Ghargayozyan.
Zirovich said the Nitros must recover from the lopsided loss.
“The one positive thing [from getting beat like this] means we can now have a great week of practice,” he said.