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Burroughs boys' soccer earns third-place finish in own tourney

Boys' soccer: Indians come on in second half to notch victory against Sylmar to close out Brant tournament.

December 16, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Roger Wilson Staff…)

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Although having given up two goals in four matches of its own Burroughs Ralph Brandt Soccer Tournament, the Burroughs boys' team wasn't playing for the tourney championship Monday evening.

The Indians saw that chance go by the wayside with a one-goal loss Saturday to El Camino Real on Saturday.

"That's the worst we've played in awhile," Burroughs Coach Mike Kodama said of the 1-0 setback at Memorial Field. "We just didn't play well at all."

The loss left the Indians to play for third place against Sylmar. But Burroughs took full advantage of its opportunity, and despite missing a penalty kick in the opening minutes, the Indians scored twice in the second half to notch a 3-1 victory against the Spartans at St. Francis High.

The third-place finish is the best showing for the Indians (5-1) in their own tournament since 2007, when they also placed third.

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"We would have liked to be playing for the championship, but we knew that got away from us after Saturday's loss," Kodama said. "But I was happy with the effort of the boys today and I thought we played well.

"I thought we came back and played a lot better in this one than we played against El Camino."

The Indians were taking on a Sylmar (6-2) squad that was playing its second match of the day. In the afternoon, the Spartans opened league competition with a 2-1 win against San Fernando.

The early game obligation prompted the Spartans to arrive late for the matchup with Burroughs. That didn't allow Sylmar any warmup time.

The Indians, on the other hand, came out fresh and energized in the early minutes of the match.

Burroughs saw its first opportunity to score come early, in the fourth minute, when Sylmar was called for a hand-ball just outside the Indians' box. Ashot Veisyan lined up for the attempt, but powered the ball over the crossbar.

"When you miss something like a penalty shot you have to just shake it off and come back," Burroughs junior midfielder Andres Aguilar said. "You can't just stand around and think about it, you have to go on."

And that's what the Indians did, getting a boost off the bench from junior midfielder Saul Zepeda. In the 23rd minute, Zepeda got the ball on the left side 50 yards out from the Sylmar goal. He dribbled and lofted a long ball that angled toward the net. Streaking down the middle was Veisyan, who caught up to the ball and flicked the offering from 20 yards out, as the ball angled into the net for a goal.

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