DOWNEY — With the heart and soul of its offense all but muted and its rock solid defense undermined by a pair of penalty-box slip-ups, the finals of the CIF Southern California Division I Regional Championships at Warren High in Downey on Saturday proved to be an uncharacteristic end to a program-defining season for the Crescenta Valley High boys' soccer team.
Sixth-seeded Paramount had the right defensive game plan, and just enough offense, to deny the fifth-seeded Falcons in their bid to complete an unbeaten season and become the first team in area history to win both a CIF sectional and regional title in the same season, as the Pirates jumped out early and survived a late rally to win, 2-1, and claim their second regional crown in the last three years.
"When we came out in the second half, we never thought the game was over, especially when we got that goal that made it 2-1," said Falcons senior midfielder Salar Hajimirsadeghi, whose goal on a free kick with seven minutes left gave CIF Southern Section Division IV-champion Crescenta Valley its first signs of life in the game and sparked a furious finish that came up just short. "We were motivated and we were attacking and attacking. …I feel like if we had a few more minutes we could probably have put the ball in the net."