Burbank (2-0) scored six goals in its season opener against Monrovia and, with Spartans junior Miranda Dimase-Nording starting in goal getting her first live action ever at the position, the Bulldogs seemed to be set up for another large portion of offense. That did not play out, however, as the Bulldogs scored on their first shot of game, but never again, instead relying on a stout defense to achieve the shutout victory.
“We stepped up. It’s good we had a close game. We know, defensively, we can stay in the game,” said Montoya, whose squad gave up two goals in their first game.
La Canada (0-1) gave up a goal less than 10 minutes into the game. Clarrissa Guerrero dribbled the ball deep down the side of the penalty box to the Spartans goalkeeper’s left before crossing the ball back diagonally on the ground into the middle. The ball barely skipped over a Spartans defender’s foot and found Victoria Rondinella. The senior then blasted a hard-rising shot into the back of the net to Dimase-Nording’s left. It was a high-quality goal and a shot that no keeper, experienced or not, likely could have been expected to stop.
“We have a goalkeeper who had never played goal in her entire life,” La Cañada Coach Louis Bilowitz said. “She became a goalkeeper two or three weeks ago. She just volunteered because we had nobody else and she did a very good job.”
Just before that, the Spartans’ novice netminder had gotten her first touch of the ball when she came out to the edge of the box and fielded an over-the-top pass from the Bulldogs.
“At first I was terrified, but I gained confidence as it went on,” Dimase-Nording said.