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Falcons take over in 2nd half

Water polo: CV boys outlast Glendale in physical Pacific League match between top contenders.

October 20, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk,
  • CV's Andrew DeJong, left, makes a pass while Glendale's Manuk Hakobyan defends.
CV's Andrew DeJong, left, makes a pass while Glendale's… (Cheryl A. Guerrero,…)

BURBANK — As two of the top boys' water polo teams in the Pacific League, Crescenta Valley High and Glendale may very well meet again this season with a league title on the line should both squads advance to the finals of the championship tournament in November.

But on Tuesday afternoon at Burroughs High, the Falcons, who are the top-ranked squad in CIF Southern Section Division V, made it clear they aren't ready to cede their crown to any challenger just yet, using superb goalkeeping and a swift counter-attack to turn a close high-scoring match through the first half into a one-sided affair down the stretch for a 14-8 win.

A balanced scoring effort led by five goals from Jack Snyder and three apiece from Robby Ruzicka and Louis Wojciechowski and 13 saves from goalkeeper Rane Colvin were enough to carry the Falcons (16-4, 4-0 in league) to a 7-2 second-half run and offset a team-high four goals from Nitros hole/set Gor Asryan.


"Crescenta Valley has an excellent hole/set and our game plan was to come out and force the outside shooters to shoot and their outside shooters did an excellent job coming to play today," said Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook, whose team, which is ranked sixth in Division V, fell to 14-6, 3-1 in league. "Crescenta Valley simply came out and executed and we weren't able to handle it."

The Nitros' physical play left some of the Falcons smarting, but in the end mostly hurt Glendale, as Asryan was disqualified from the match with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter for striking Wojchiekowski in the face as the two jostled for position.

"It was brutal, but it was fun," said Wojciechowski, a transfer, who received his initiation into the Glendale-CV rivalry. "[Asryan] was just flinging his arms out and he straight up just punched me."

The ensuing five-meter shot converted by Snyder put the Nitros up by six goals and was the last tally of the match. To make matter worse for the Nitros, it was Asryan's second major ejection of the season, which mandates a two-match suspension under CIF rules.

"As the game goes on, definitely, tensions rise," said Holbrook, who added that he had not had a chance to discuss the incident with Asryan yet. "Gor plays an extremely physical position at hole/set. You're in the middle and usually you're double- and triple-teamed and he takes a lot of abuse in there. …I wasn't able to see the play that well."

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