Crescenta Valley girls' soccer focuses on fifth straight
Crescenta Valley Falcons vying for another Pacific title; Glendale Nitros, Hoover Tornadoes still looking for improvement.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Defender/forward Sierra Rhoads will be a key component to Crescenta Valley's fifth straight Pacific League title run. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
The way Crescenta Valley Coach Jorden Schulz sees it, there’s no reason for the Falcons to let their guard down in their quest to remain at the top.
“I think there’s no doubt we can be in the mix,” said Schulz, whose team will kick off league with a home match against Muir at 3:15 p.m. Friday. “It’s just about trying to consistently get better and keeping things fresh on both sides of the ball.
“There are going to be some good teams in league. You know going in that Crescenta Valley and Arcadia will get everybody’s best game. Pasadena is the team that scares me the most. They seem to be flying under the radar.”
The Falcons (3-2-1) have played a tough preseason set of games, including matchups with Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and Valencia Valencia.
Crescenta Valley’s top players will likely be defender/forward Sierra Rhoads and midfielder Whitley Boller.
Hoover will have a makeover in personnel and on a new home site.
The Tornadoes have brought in coach Anastasious Metallinos to navigate the Tornadoes through the Pacific. Metallinos played on the school’s boys’ soccer team before graduating in 2001.
Unlike most other teams, Hoover (0-1) didn’t participate in any tournaments during the first five weeks of the season. Instead, Metallinos began covering the basics with the young Tornadoes, who finished seventh in league last season.
Metallinos said he’ll look to use the multiple practice sessions that the Tornadoes have logged as quality preparation for league.
“It’s not really ideal to just play one match before league,” Metallinos said. “The practices have been very much like a test to see how we will be able to do against our opponents.
“We’ve been working on fitness, transition and ball movement the most. We’ve been able to correct things when needed and test ourselves. I think league will be strong and the ideal goal for us is to get to .500. Our first three [league] games are at home, so we’d like to get at least five of the nine points.”
Hoover will hold its home games across the street at Toll Middle School while its field undergoes major renovations.
Hoover, which will be led by midfielders Talin Kojababin, Jordan Miller and Ashley Flores, will start league at 3:30 p.m. Friday at home against Pasadena.
Glendale (2-4) will kick off league at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Burroughs under coach Victor Aquino. The Nitros took sixth in league last season.
Aquino said the Nitros had difficulty with communication across the field during the first several weeks of the season. He’s looking for that to be rectified when they start league.
“It’s gotten better, but it’s not where it needs to be,” Aquino said. “With league, we are hoping to get one of the top four spots.
“You already know that CV and Arcadia are always going to be among the top two teams. Pasadena is pretty strong. Burroughs and Burbank are going to be good.”
Glendale’s top players will probably be midfielders Aline Graham and Natalie Harmon.
The top four teams in league will clinch an automatic playoff spot.