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Glendale High boys' water polo edges Crescenta Valley

Water Polo: Nitros boys get winning goal from Arzumanyan with 39.2 seconds left to pick up 12-11 Pacific League victory.

October 10, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • Glendale High's Artak Arzumanyan (2) shoots the game-winning goal past Crescenta Valley's Ryan Moguel (11) in the second half of Thursday afternoon's Pacific League showdown at Pasadena City College. Glendale won, 12-11. (Photo by Libby Cline)
Glendale High's Artak Arzumanyan (2) shoots the…

PASADENA — With less than a minute left in a tightly contested match between two rivals, Artak Arzumanyan saw an open lane to the cage.

The Glendale High boys’ water polo inched closer to the net, realizing he had a chance to deliver perhaps the most important goal of the season for the Nitros. Arzumanyan wasn’t about to waste the golden opportunity while seeking to keep Glendale perfect in the Pacific League.

Arzumanyan scored the winning goal with 39.2 seconds remaining to lift visiting Glendale to a 12-11 league win against Crescenta Valley on Thursday at Pasadena City College.

PHOTOS: Glendale vs. CV boys water polo

“If you want to be one of the best players, you have to be able to step up at any given time,” said Arzumanyan, who finished with five goals to help Glendale improve to 13-6, 4-0 in league. “I feel like I have the confidence to score big goals.

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“I saw it as the perfect opportunity to score. It was such a nerve-wracking game that kept going back and forth. You just can’t let your emotions get to you in such a close game.”

Glendale, ranked No. 1 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division V poll, has won two straight league championships. It went undefeated in league the past two seasons and reached the CIF title match last season for the first time in the program’s history.

Crescenta Valley (9-7, 3-1) proved to be a worthy opponent against Glendale. The Falcons, ranked No. 5 in Division V, held three separate one-goal leads before seeing Glendale rally for the win.

“I didn’t know what to expect from us coming into the game,” Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju said. “There were a lot of talented players out there for both teams.

“It was a nice little see-saw game and an improvement for us.”

After Arzumanyan gave the Nitros a 12-11 lead, Crescenta Valley looked to press for the equalizer. However, the Falcons committed a 30-second shot-clock violation, allowing the Nitros to swim out the remaining 11 seconds.

“We were playing for a matchup and we didn’t get it,” said Sakonju, who received four goals from Griffin Harting and 16 saves from goalkeeper George Vine IV. “I thought about calling a timeout. We had a mismatch in our favor on the other side and we didn’t see it.”

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