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Crescenta Valley High boys' soccer downs Highland, 3-1, to win wild card

Soccer: Falcons get two second-half tallies to win postseason opener at home.

February 18, 2014|By Nathan Cambridge, Special to the Glendale News-Press
  • Crescenta Valley High's Tony Royer (No. 10) tries for a shot past Highland defenders during a CIF SS Division III wild-card soccer match at Crescenta Valley on Tuesday. The Falcons won, 3-1 (Roger Wilson/Staff Photographer)
Crescenta Valley High's Tony Royer (No. 10) tries…

LA CRESCENTA — As the only ranked team in the final CIF Southern Section Division III coaches’ poll playing in Tuesday’s wild-card round, Crescenta Valley came into play with seemingly the best credentials of any of the 20 wild-card teams, including its opponent Highland of Palmdale.

PHOTOS: CV vs. Highland CIF SS Division III wild-card boys' soccer

The Falcons saw their halftime lead erased by visiting Highland, but showed why they are ranked No. 10 in the division with two second-half goals, scored in quick succession, to win, 3-1, Tuesday afternoon at Osborne Field.

“I can’t tell you how relieved I was,” said Crescenta Valley’s Justin Wright, who scored the game’s first goal. “I think that we have good momentum going into the first round. I think we needed to get that one under our belt and I’m proud of everyone that played.”

Next for the Falcons will be a first-round matchup Thursday on the road against Placentia Valencia, the Empire League champion, and a team the Falcons stormed back to beat in the playoffs last season, 3-2, in overtime after surrendering the first two goals of the contest.

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“It’s going to be a tough game. It’s going to be a physical game,” Clark said of his squad’s first-round game coming on Thursday. “They have a nice facility, it’s first class. It’s going to be a lot of fun to go over there and to get one away from them again. They have a lot of reason to want to beat us, and more than that we both want to move on, they have something extra.”

Crescenta Valley (22-4-3) broke a 1-1 tie in the game’s 64th minute when Augustine Ahn headed home what turned out to be the game-winner. The sophomore came forward from his position at center fullback for a corner kick by Chris Sinani and arrived with speed just as the ball did the same to redirect it into the back of the net.

“I saw the service coming from the corner kick,” Ahn said. “I asked my other defenders if I could go up. Most of the time I don’t, but I felt something special and I just hit it today.”

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