SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Pablo Sotillo put himself in the right position to enjoy a windfall Monday afternoon, as he scored early in the second half to spark the visiting Crescenta Valley High boys' soccer team to a 1-0 Pacific League victory against Glendale.
“He’s probably scored four or five goals like that this season,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Grant Clark, whose team improved to 11-1-4, 1-0-1 in league. “He’s got that knack for seeing the play develop and then get open like that.”
Crescenta Valley, which has won three straight league championships, survived several scares from Glendale (5-5-1, 0-2). Yet, the Falcons, who captured the CIF Southern Section Division IV crown last season and are ranked No. 2 in the latest Division III poll behind El Rancho, found a way to stave off the Nitros.
It took some hard work and a fortunate bounce to make it happen in the first of two head-to-head matchups with the Nitros this season.
Crescenta Valley’s Eric Keshishian lined a shot that Glendale goalkeeper Ervin Vartoomian partially stopped. The rebound rolled across to Sotillo, who put it past a diving Vartoomian in the 54th minute.
“I like to be at the back post,” Sotillo said. “If somebody misses, then there’s a chance I can get a shot off a rebound.
“Glendale played a very good game, but I thought we played a little stronger. It was a very good game.”
Crescenta Valley, which improved to 8-0 in one-goal matches this season, caught a break in the 57th minute.
A direct kick by Serozh Kirakosyan struck the crossbar and ricocheted to Leo Magardechian, whose shot was stopped by Crescenta Valley goalkeeper Josh Cook.
“We had a lot of chances, but we couldn’t finish,” Glendale Coach Artur Aghasyan said. “We were just unlucky on that one play.
“We played well, but again we didn’t have the good result that we needed. We can do more.”
Each team had a quality scoring opportunity in the first half. Vartoomian made a diving save on Crescenta Valley’s Matt Ryan in the 13th minute. In the 27th minute, Cook turned aside a shot by Avo Haroutunian.
Cook finished with eight saves, including five in the second half. Vartoomian registered five saves.
Glendale and Crescenta Valley will next face off at 3:15 p.m. Jan. 22 at Crescenta Valley.
The Falcons and Nitros will participate in league home matches Wednesday. Crescenta Valley will face Burbank at 3:15 p.m. Glendale will battle Arcadia at 3:30.