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Burbank girls' soccer opens league with 3-1 victory

Soccer: After slow start, host Bulldogs' offense comes alive to defeat Pasadena.

January 07, 2014|By Nathan Cambridge

BURBANK — With the holiday break over, the Burbank High girls' soccer team had to get back to business quickly in its first game back to start Pacific League play on a positive note as it hosted Pasadena in the league opener for both squads of Bulldogs.

After a scoreless first half that saw the visiting Bulldogs repeatedly threaten, the host Bulldogs finally did get going in the second half to build a two-goal advantage on the way to a 3-1 victory Tuesday afternoon over a determined Pasadena team.

"It was a real slow, slow, slow start," Burbank Coach Eric Montoya said. "I think winter break with the girls not playing [was the cause]; better finish."

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Burbank (4-2-1, 1-0) broke through in the 63rd minute for the game's first goal, a header by Burbank senior Michelle Morales. Fellow senior Clarissa Guerrero got it started, sending a corner kick into the throng of players occupying the front of the goal mouth. Burbank's first try at heading the ball home was barely headed off the line by a Pasadena defender, but it did not go far and Morales put her forehead to the ball, sending it into the back of the net for her team's first goal in Pacific League play.

"My teammate headed it to the post and I just saw an opening spot on the right corner and then just headed it in," Morales said.

Less than three minutes later, Burbank got an insurance goal off the foot of Yvette Niwa. The senior hustled to a loose ball deep in the box and tapped it home for a 2-0 advantage with just less than 15 minutes to go.

"I actually don't score much because I'm a defender usually," Niwa said. "Kira [Bochard] made a great run and so it disrupted the play and the ball came through to me. I just touched it; I didn't want to hit it too hard. It was more of a finesse shot than a power one."

However, the two-goal cushion was short-lived as Pasadena (1-6, 0-1) scored less than a minute later.

"We can't fall asleep if we score a goal. That is what happened," Montoya said of the Pasadena quick strike.

The lone Pasadena goal came off a long shot by Samantha Koemans in the 67th minute as the Burbank defense held tough other than the brief letdown.

Montoya singled out his freshman right fullback as a key.

"I've just got to say Melanie Tirado played an awesome game," Montoya said.

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