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Hart falls to C.V. in Showcase title game

Posted: December 30, 2013 6:47 p.m.
Updated: December 30, 2013 6:47 p.m.

Hart midfielder Tad Hawthorne fights for possession of the ball against a Crescenta Valley defender at Hart High on Monday.

 

Hart came agonizingly close to walking away from its own Hart Soccer Showcase tournament on Monday afternoon with the championship trophy.

But minutes after watching Christopher Marton shot bounce harmlessly off the chest of Crescenta Valley Falcons midfielder Wessley Loveland, the Indians looked on as Sameen Islam sent a header into the back of the net for a 2-1 Crescenta Valley victory in double overtime at Hart High.

With the loss, Hart missed out on a chance at a third straight Showcase championship win.

“Intense soccer,” said Hart head coach Adonay Jovel. “Both teams were great teams. It could have gone either way. They got the cross and they scored. That’s what you want to have in a final. We had a battle.”

Inside the 6-yard box, Islam took a step, lowered his head and, as he describes it, waited for Royer’s cross to hit him.

And just like they drew it up, the cross came, the ball bounced perfectly off Islam’s head into the back of the net, and the Falcons (11-1-2) were crowned champions of the tournament with a 2-1 victory on Monday afternoon.

“Tony is someone everybody looks up to,” Islam said. “When he’s going down the wing I thought he would go far post. I took a step back, he went toward the line and I knew where to be. It just hit my head — it was all Tony.”

Islam’s goal came with 5:07 remaining in the second 10-minute extra time period — after nearly 95 minutes of action.

Hart (6-2-2) appeared to pick up a huge advantage with about seven minutes left in regulation when the Falcons’ Augustine Ahn was sent off for his second yellow card of the game after an airborne collision near midfield.

His first card came on a controversial slide tackle where Ahn appeared to cleanly make contact with the ball.

“It’s a lot of judgment calls that sometimes go for you and sometimes against us,” said Crescenta Valley head coach Grant Clark.

From that point, though, the Falcons did little to resemble a team down a man.

Crescenta Valley (11-1-2) continued to attack, creating scoring chances late in regulation and in extra time.

“It didn’t have any effect on us,” Jovel said. “They were a little smarter than us. They stretched us where we should have done that to them. We tend to attack through the center. We should have attacked on the wings.”

The Falcons got on the board first, after a frustrating first half that saw them send two balls off the left post and one just over the cross bar to end the first with the score tied at 0-0.

With just over 30 minutes left in the second half, Kevin Ginosian found Eric Hartoonian in the box for the 1-0 lead.

The Indians (6-2-2), though, responded immediately, as Tad Hawthorne caught up to a long ball over the top and scored with a strong second effort to net to knot the score at 1-1.

“It gives us a balance in the game. Now we’re not behind and more comfortable,” said Hart head coach Adonay Jovel of equalizing quickly. “But a little fatigue in the last minutes. They were able to control the fatigue and some of our players couldn’t handle playing 95 minutes of soccer.”

 

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