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Defense sets the tone, 2-0

BOYS’ SOCCER: Burroughs defeats Laguna Beach, 2-0, and Luis Felix sets school record for goals.

February 28, 2009|By Jeff Tully

LAGUNA BEACH — The Burroughs High boys’ soccer team has had some trouble putting together 80 minutes of qualify soccer this season.

The Indians have fallen behind in their share of matches and had to battle back to turn defeats into wins and likely losses into ties.

Luckily for Burroughs, it might have just played one of its best contests when it needed it the most.

The Indians played stellar defense, received solid goalkeeping and scored two second-half goals Wednesday to defeat host Laguna Beach, 2-0, in a CIF Southern Section Division IV match.


“I think this was one of our best games of the season,” Burroughs Coach Mike Kodama said. “[Laguna Beach] really didn’t have that many shots because our defense was able to keep them away from a lot of scoring chances.”

Senior goalkeeper Alex Escobar faced five shots and he turned back all of them to gain the shutout.

“I thought [defenders] Brian Cremin and Michael Solano did a great job keeping them away from the goal.” Kodama said. “They both played really well for us.”

In the win, Burroughs senior forward Luis Felix reached a milestone. When he tallied the Indians’ first goal of the match, he increased his season total to 24, breaking the program record. He surpassed Roberto Perez, an All-American who tallied 23 goals in 1993.

The win put the Indians (16-6-5) — the co-Pacific League champions — into the quarterfinals for the first time since 1998. That season, Burroughs fell on the road to Servite, 2-0.

It is the fourth time in Kodama’s 22-year tenure with Burroughs that one of his teams has reached the quarterfinals.

In 1993, the Indians advanced to the semifinals, losing to Alta Loma, 3-2, and in 1994 they fell in the final to Bell Gardens, 3-1.

Kodama announced earlier in the year that he will be stepping down at the conclusion of the season.

It was evident early on in Wednesday’s match that Laguna Beach (8-5-8) — the third-place team from the Orange Coast League — wasn’t going to be able to generate much offense.

“They were just trying to jam it in the box any time they had a chance on throw-ins,” Kodama said. “I guess they figured that was their best chance to score.”

After a stalemate in the first half, Felix struck for his goal in the 55th minute. Gilen Guenther was able to get the ball to Derek Olson, who tapped it to Felix in front of the goal. Felix made a quick move and flicked the offering in for the goal.

Olson added a goal of his own in the 79th minute. Steven Munoz passed the ball to Olson, who booted it over the head of the goalkeeper.

“I just wanted to get the ball over him, so I just put it up and it went over his head,” Olson said.

Kodama, whose team has had to come back to win or tie eight contests this season, said he was happy to score early in the second half.

“Hey, we scored in the 55th minute, that’s pretty good for us this season,” he said.

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