BY VAN DER MEGERDICHIAN
ENCINO—As the final whistle blew, the crowd of loving parents and devoted students stormed the field, hugging and embracing the newly crowned champions of the CIF International Soccer League.
The six-teams in the division vied for the top four spots all year, knowing that a top four finish would guarantee them a playoff spot. Alex Pilibos High School, San Gabriel Academy, and Le Lycee Academy cemented the first three seeds and the Ferrahian Armens and AGBU Pasadena battled for the coveted fourth spot. The Armens eventually claimed the fourth seed and were matched against Alex Pilibos High School, the first seed in what was a rivalry match-up, Armenian school against Armenian school to see who would reach the finals.
Alex Pilibos had defeated the Armens twice during the year, but defeating Ferrahian a third time proved to be a daunting task. In a grueling, hard-fought match, the Armens came away with a 2-1 victory with Pilibos striking first and the Armens showing true heart and bouncing back, completing the comeback.
In the finals, the Armens faced San Gabriel Academy , the team that had defeated them twice in the regular season. The Armens had the momentum, heart, and confidence to complete the mission. One match stood between the men from Encino and a championship. A heated battle between the two schools ensued, with the Ferrahian Armens earning a 2-1 victory. A 2-0 lead proved to be insurmountable as San Gabriel clawed back for one goal but could not conquer the Armens. The final score was 2-1.
The underdog Armens in their run to the championship beat the top two seeds, both of which had defeated Ferrahian twice during the regular season. But when it counted, the Armens overcame all adversity and came out a winner – a true definition of a Cinderella story.