La Cañada High boys' soccer's Armand Bagramyan makes history with goal scoring prowess
La Cañada High soccer player set school record for goals in a season before leaving for next stage in his career.
La Cañada High boys' soccer player Armand Bagramyan made history with his 43 goals in his senior season. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer / August 21, 2013)
At La Cañada High, the boys’ soccer, water polo and golf teams didn’t shirk from their CIF Southern Section or even state championship aspirations, while the Flintridge Prep boys’ basketball team took it a game at a time, all the while hoping for another run to a CIF crown.
All five teams came up short, with the Spartans polo team coming heartbreakingly close, the Rebels falling one game shy at a crack at a title and the others finishing woefully short of their ultimate goal.
Each squad in the quintet — and more — was led by one or two of the best athletes locally, in the area and beyond. A multitude of awards were hauled in by the top 10 male athletes in 2012-13, as voted on by the sports writers and editor of the La Cañada Valley Sun.
Whether on a CIF finalist or one that fell short of a postseason berth, these top-10 players shined wherever they competed.
Here is the list of those select 10:
1 Armand Bagramyan, La Cañada High soccer, senior — There wasn’t one individual athlete as dominant this past season as Bagramyan.
The UC Santa Barbara forward averaged 1.8 goals a game and made history while doing so. Bagramyan broke the La Cañada High single-season scoring record with 43 goals in 24 games to break a 41-goal record set by Spartans great Josh Henderson, who did so in 1996 before going on to a professional career.
“I just love scoring goals and every time I step on the field I have in my mind, ‘I’m going to score,’” Bagramyan said after the season. “I just love scoring, it brings a smile to my face.”
Bagramyan was not only the second most prolific goal scorer in all of California, according to MaxPreps.com, but the team leader in assists with 21. In all, Bagramyan had a foot in 64 of his team’s 73 goals on the year.
“In terms of scoring goals, he’s probably the best player I’ve ever coached,” La Cañada Coach Alex Harrison said in April. “In terms of understanding the game, getting the game going and understanding the mechanics of the game, his vision, his passion — it’s second to none. He’s at the professional level in terms of how he takes things seriously.”
The explosive force was dangerous no matter how many defenders were following his every move. He scored four goals in three games, produced five other hat tricks and racked up 12 multi-goal games on the year.
When the season, ended the individual awards came flooding in for Bagramyan. He was named an All-American third-team player by the Elite Soccer Report, the All-Area Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year, an All-CIF Southern Section Division V first-teamer and All-Rio Hondo League Offensive Most Valuable Player.
While Bagramyan helped elevate the Spartans to the No. 1 spot in the CIF Southern Section Division V rankings early on, it didn’t translate to the type of ending La Cañada expected or hoped for. It tied South Pasadena in the league standings and South Pas rode it to the league’s top seed for the playoffs and second seed in CIF.
The Spartans, who finished 18-4-2, 8-1-1 in league, fell from the first to fourth seed in Division V and were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by Marshall Fundamental, 2-1. Bagramyan scored La Cañada’s goal on a penalty kick.
“I think I could have done better [this year], honestly,” Bagramyan said in April. “Even though I broke records, did really good and got MVP awards — a lot of them — I think I should have done just a little bit better.”
2 Chase Borisoff, La Cañada High water polo and swimming, senior — Whatever was needed, outside of goalkeeping, was provided by the last of the Borisoffs.
While the senior fell just shy of his and La Cañada’s goal of a sixth CIF title and first in five years, he still hauled in just about every award imaginable. Those included respective seventh and fourth-team All-American and All-Southern California honors, the All-Area Boys’ Water Polo Player of the Year, All-Rio Hondo League co-Most Valuable Player and All-CIF first-team awards.
Borisoff’s greatest strength was his play-making ability. He assisted on 135 goals and drew 78 ejections on the year.