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Twice the heroics for Hoover's Hakop Kaplanyan

On a 10-goal day in the CIF quarterfinals, Tornadoes standout sends game to overtime and wins its there with a mind-spinning shot.

August 21, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com
  • Hoover High's Hakop Kaplanyan, left, put together the Glendale News-Press' top-10 individual performances by an athlete in a team setting in the 2011-12 season.
Hoover High's Hakop Kaplanyan, left, put together… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

The top-10 individual performances by an athlete in a team setting from the 2011-12 season were voted on by the Glendale News-Press sports department.

1 Hakop Kaplanyan dries up Palm Desert, Nov. 12, 2011 — Once the Hoover High boys' water polo team received a last-second reprieve on the end of its season, its senior leader didn't let it go to waste.

Kaplanyan scored a game-tying goal to complete a comeback from down five goals and send the Tornadoes' CIF Southern Section Division IV quarterfinal match against Palm Desert at Burbank High to overtime moments after a timekeeping error resulted in a replay of the final 30 seconds.

"I didn't want to believe it," Kaplanyan said of the moments prior to the reset when it appeared Palm Desert had successfully run out the clock to win the game. "The reality was it kind of seemed like we lost, but I just couldn't let myself believe that. I wanted to change that.

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"I just told my team they gave us another chance and this is where we take it. We were just looking at our opponents' faces and all they seemed was afraid."

Then in overtime, Kaplanyan made sure Hoover's season would extend to a best-ever semifinal appearance when he buried three more goals to run his total to 10, including a goal from halfway across the pool with tenths of a second left to deliver a 16-15 win and a place in Hoover history.

"It was crazy," Kaplanyan said. "We went to quarterfinals [my sophomore] year and I said to myself I'm not going out in the quarterfinals, I need to get to the semifinals. [Regulation] last minute, overtime last minute, I'm just there for my team every time."

2 Pavle Atanackovic's hat trick paces CIF win, Feb. 16, 2012 — The Crescenta Valley boys' soccer team won its first-ever CIF championship in March, but the Falcons' playoff run never would have gotten off the ground if not for the heroics of Atanackovic in a 3-2 Division IV first-round road win over Laguna Beach.

The Falcons trailed, 2-0, going into the second half, where the All-Area Boys' Soccer Player of the Year scored twice on headers in the 49th and 53rd minutes to knot the match and force overtime.

Three minutes into the sudden-death extra period, Atanackovic got around a Laguna Beach defender on a set piece and headed a 40-yard free kick in to complete the comeback and save the Falcons' season.

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