LA CRESCENTA — It would be understandable if the Crescenta Valley High boys' soccer team was a bit fatigued.
The Falcons recently began a difficult stretch in which they play six matches in eight days.
Matt Ryan and Eric Keshishian on Thursday afternoon for offensive support.
Ryan and Keshishian each collected one goal and one assist to lead host Crescenta Valley to a 3-2 nonleague victory against St. John Bosco.
“We’ve been playing lots of games and some of our guys are sore,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Grant Clark, whose team improved to 5-0-1. “It’s going to take some time and we’ve got a lot of tough games.
“We were able to get out to a 2-0 lead and that was big for us.”
St. John Bosco (1-2-1) controlled the tempo in the first 10 minutes before the Falcons, who captured the CIF Southern Section Division IV championship last season, tallied two goals in a two-minute stretch to take a 2-0 advantage.
The Braves had three quality scoring opportunities, only to see them thwarted by Crescenta Valley goalkeeper Josh Cook. Cook made two saves in that stretch.
Crescenta Valley, ranked No. 1 in the latest Division III poll, took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute. Keshishian made a perfect pass to Pablo Hernandez, who beat St. John Bosco goalkeeper Matthew Aguilar.
Ryan then provided Crescenta Valley with a 2-0 lead in the 17th minute, when he took a perfect pass from Amir Hajimirsadeghi and lined a shot by Aguilar.
Ryan, who has scored four goals, said the Falcons looked for a surge after the Braves started off strong.
“I think we were a little lethargic early on, but they have a very good team,” Ryan said. “We knew we’d be in for a battle.
“We got those two goals and it seemed like they lost confidence. We like playing in these tough games and it gets us ready for league.”
St. John Bosco sliced the lead to 2-1 in the 32nd minute on a goal by Adrian Vera. Having regained the momentum, the Braves nearly tied the match at 2 twice early in the second half.
Cook, who finished with seven saves, punched a header by Jonathan Ensch over the crossbar in the 43rd minute. Angel Covarrubias then rolled a shot just wide of the left post in the 54th minute.
Keshishian restored Crescenta Valley’s two-goal lead when he scored off a centering pass from Ryan to make it 3-1 in the 60th minute. Josh Hernandez of St. John Bosco trimmed the deficit to 3-2 with a goal in the 62nd minute.
Keshishian said he expected the Falcons to be challenged by the Braves.
“Every team you play will be coming after you, and they did that early on,” Keshishian said. “You have to be able to go out there and match them.
“We have some good team chemistry and we are starting to click.”
Crescenta Valley will next compete in a quarterfinal match of the Ralph Brandt Tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday against Taft at St. Francis High’s Friedman Field.