Ten boys' soccer players pick up All-Pacific honors
Soccer: Crescenta Valley, Glendale and Hoover earn postseason recognition.
Crescenta Valley High junior midfielder Justin Wright (right) was named an All-Pacific League first-team selection. (Roger Wilson/Staff Photographer)
Crescenta Valley and Glendale again advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs with a bundle of talented athletes. Though Hoover didn’t reach its intended goal of qualifying for the postseason, it still had several quality players on board to make some progress.
In all, 10 local players received all-league recognition, as voted on by the league’s eight coaches.
Justin Wright and Tony Royer of Crescenta Valley and Glendale’s Narbeh Shabani were named to the first team. Matt Ryan and Daniel Eng of Crescenta Valley, Glendale’s Berg Ghazarian and Andres Perez of Hoover earned spots on the second team.
Wright, a junior midfielder, paved the way for the Falcons (22-5-3, 10-3-1 in league for third place with 31 points). He finished with 18 goals and 16 assists for 52 points while playing a vital role in leading the transition game.
The UC Irvine-bound Royer, a senior, complimented Wright well in the midfield. He collected eight goals and 12 assists for 28 points.
“They both made things easy at those spots,” Crescenta Valley third-year Coach Grant Clark said. “Justin was a big part of the offense in that he could dribble the ball and know how to create a scoring chance or just ripping the ball on goal.
“Tony could play different positions, but he could distribute the ball so well and create chances.”
Glendale (10-11-2, 6-7-1 in league for fourth place with 19 points) turned to Shabani, who showed plenty of versatility playing defender or midfielder. Shabani, a senior, collected two goals and six assists for 10 points.
“Narbeh was our most experienced player,” Glendale second-year Coach Artur Aghasyan said. “He’s very smart and he knew how to read the game real well.
“He helped us win a lot of games down the stretch to get us into the playoffs.”
Ryan and Eng excelled on offense and defense, respectively, for Crescenta Valley. Ryan, a senior forward, finished with a team-high 25 goals and four assists for 54 points. Eng, a senior defender, registered two goals and two assists for six points.
Ghazarian, a junior, paced the Nitros nicely at midfield. He notched five goals and 10 assists for 20 points.
Perez, a senior defender, proved to be a bright spot for Hoover (5-14-1, 2-11-1 in league for seventh place with seven points). Perez finished with two goals and four assists for eight points.
Among those earning honorable mention were Crescenta Valley senior forward Chris Sinani (11 goals and two assists for 24 points), Glendale junior forward Avo Haroutunyan (15 goals and seven assists for 37 assists) and Hoover senior midfielder Carlos Morataya.