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La Canada, South Pasadena boys' soccer tie for league title

La Canada Spartans, South Pasadena Tigers play to 0-0 tie to forge league share.

February 07, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • La Canada's Aidan Tourani, #16, battles for the ball with, from left, South Pasadena's Oscar Jaime, Charlie Slocum and Zack Dunn.
La Canada's Aidan Tourani, #16, battles for the… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

SOUTH PASADENA — While the scoreboard may have read 0-0 when 80 minutes were up, the cheers from the South Pasadena High boys' soccer team and fans signified the game was a victory for the Tigers.

Both South Pas and La Cañada High came into Thursday afternoon's Rio Hondo League finale looking for some more clarity on who the league champion was. A victory would give the winning side sole possession of the title, while a tie meant both teams would share it – sort of.

“For four years, we've been getting destroyed by La Cañada and to finally beat them is amazing. It's a tie, but it feels like a win to me. We were able to beat them for the first time since I've ever been here,” said South Pasadena center back Charlie Slocum, referencing the Tigers' 2-1 win at La Cañada on Jan. 23.

The Tigers will enter the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs at the No. 1 team out of league with a head-to-head advantage over the Spartans, who came into the game ranked No. 1 in the division. When it comes to the league banners, both sides will be co-champions as they're even in points with 17 each.

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It gives South Pasadena (14-1-3, 7-0-3 in league) its first taste of the league title since 1997.

“It was many years ago,” South Pasadena Coach Juan Zurita said of the last time the Tigers were champions. “We're always very close, second or third. I'm pretty proud of my team.”

While South Pas was the only team celebrating, La Cañada Coach Alex Harrison didn't show any frustration with the draw.

“It was a good result,” he said. “It was such an intense game I feel like it was a good result for us; I mean, it's a good result for them, too. It's just a frantic game, frantic pace, any time you have a 0-0 like that it's nothing to hang your head about.”

Neither side came into the game looking for just one point. South Pasadena dominated the scoring chances in the first half but never pulled back, despite La Cañada controlling possession in the final 40 minutes.

In the end, the Tigers outshot the Spartans, 13-6, and held the advantage in corner kicks, 12-4.

La Cañada wasn't able to create much offensively without its star forward and leading goal scorer Armand Bagramyan, who received two yellow cards Tuesday, until the second half.

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