LA CRESCENTA — There was something else besides a sore hamstring that’s bothered Justin Wright lately.
While looking to regain a full range of mobility, the Crescenta Valley High boys’ soccer player also sought to break out of a mini scoring drought.
Wright accomplished the feat, as he notched two goals and one assist — all in the first half — to propel host Crescenta Valley to a 4-1 Pacific League win against rival Arcadia on Friday.
“It’s been frustrating with the injury, but I really wanted to break out of the slump,” said Wright, who hadn’t scored a goal in Crescenta Valley’s three previous matches. “I needed to get out of it badly and find a way to help the team win.
“We were able to pick up our intensity after falling behind early. We made some runs inside the box to get some goals.”
Crescenta Valley, ranked eighth in the latest CIF Southern Section Division III poll, improved to 16-3-2, 5-2 in league. The Falcons are in third place in league at the midway juncture with 15 points, trailing Burroughs and Pasadena by four and two points, respectively.
Wright and the Falcons fell behind in the second minute of the game on a goal by Angel Cortez before holding the Apaches (6-8-2, 2-5) at bay.
Wright evened it at 1 on a goal off a direct kick in the 14th minute. The Falcons, who placed second in league last season, then grabbed a 2-1 advantage on a goal by Eric Hartoonian off an assist from Tony Royer in the 20th minute.
“I liked the way we were able to bounce back,” Wright said. “We were able to score off some smart plays.”
Wright then assisted on a goal in the 32nd minute by Chris Sinani to make it 3-1 before closing out the scoring in the 38th minute following an assist from Royer.
Crescenta Valley Coach Grant Clark said Wright provided an instant spark for the Falcons to help them overcome the quick deficit.
“He’s just one of those players who can set the pace,” Clark said. “He gets the ball and glides down the field and makes smart decisions with the ball.
“It’s a big win and we are still right there within striking distance for the league championship.”
The Falcons, who will next take part in a league road match against Glendale on Tuesday at Moyse Field, competed without senior forward Matt Ryan because of a hamstring injury.
Crescenta Valley and Arcadia will face off again in the regular-season finale Feb. 13 at Arcadia.