The Crescenta Valley boys soccer team is one win away from its first CIF championship in school history.
The Falcons eliminated Oak Hills, 5-3, on penalty kicks in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs on Tuesday.
The score was tied, 1-1, in regulation and through two overtime periods. Pavle Atanackovic scored the only goal for Crescenta Valley in the 49th minute on a penalty kick. It was his fifth goal in the playoffs.
Salar Hajimirsadeghi scored the eventual game-winner in the fifth round of penalty kicks.
“The team was ecstatic,” said Crescenta Valley coach Grant Clark. “The adrenaline at the end of the game was unbelievable.”
Clark is in his first year as coach of the Crescenta Valley boys soccer team. He said Crescenta Valley won only one game five years ago. He credited the seniors on the team for turning the program around and leading the Falcons into the championship game.
“What a blessing,” Clark said. “That’s a great story.”
Clark said Atanackovic scored his goal when he was taken out by the Oak Hills goalie trying to chase down a pass through the goalie box. He was awarded a penalty kick and converted.
When asked if his was surprised to see such an aggressive play, Clark said, “A little bit.”
“But it was such an obvious foul, it had to be a penalty,” he said.