CV striker soared to new heights

Pavle Atanackovic's season for the ages led to a history-making campaign for Crescenta Valley High

April 29, 2012|By Charles Rich
  • CV's Pavle Atanackovic is the 2012 All-Area Boys' Soccer Player of the Year.
CV's Pavle Atanackovic is the 2012 All-Area Boys'… (Cheryl A. Guerrero,…)

Odds immediately swung in favor of the Crescenta Valley High boys' soccer team when Pavle Atanackovic controlled the ball.

Using his gifted strength and speed, Atanackovic provided a buzz on the field — and for the spectators lined up on the sidelines — each time he launched a shot on goal. He found a way to score timely goals and played a vital role in helping Crescenta Valley win the CIF Southern Section Division IV championship this season.

"Players like Pavle certainly don't grow on trees, and he's a special player," said Crescenta Valley Coach Grant Clark, whose team finished 23-1-6 and 12-0-2 in the Pacific League. "If you didn't see a game he played, then you missed a whole lot of excitement.

"He could score just about any way. He's that rare kind of player who is big, strong and quick all at the same time. He could dish out and take a lot while playing physical and that also took him to the next level."


Backed by a well-rounded team, Atanackovic, a senior forward, and the Falcons reached new heights. Atanackovic finished with a school-record and area-leading 39 goals and 87 points. He added six goals in the postseason, which ended with the Falcons advancing to the CIF Southern California Regional Division I championship match.

It is because of those accomplishments that Atanackovic has been chosen the 2012 All-Area Boys' Soccer Player of the Year by the editors and sports writers of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, La Cañada Valley Sun and Pasadena Sun. It marked the second season in a row that Atanackovic earned the accolade.

Atanackovic finished with five hat tricks, with his final one coming in a 3-2 first-round playoff victory against Laguna Beach. The Falcons trailed, 2-0, at halftime before the UC Irvine-bound Atanackovic scored two second-half goals. He then scored the winner early in overtime off a free kick by Alex Berger.

That proved to be a pivotal moment for the Falcons, who steadily gained momentum throughout the rest of their historic playoff journey. Third-seeded Crescenta Valley then marched to the title with one-goal victories against Diamond Bar, Salesian and Oak Hills before posting a 3-0 win against top-seeded El Rancho in the championship match March 2 at Warren High in Downey.

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