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Burroughs boys' soccer beats Burbank to claim second straight league title

Soccer: Bulldogs make Indians work for 4-2 win that clinches Pacific League championship.

February 13, 2014|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

BURBANK — With just one win in 13 league games for the Burbank High boys' soccer team, some thought Burroughs had a gimme when it faced the Bulldogs on Thursday needing a win to clinch its second straight Pacific League championship.

But the match was anything but a walk-over for the Indians.

Although Burroughs clung to a one-goal lead more than half way through the second half, it was able to come on late in the contest, and sparked by a hat trick from Milosh Petko, the Indians secured a 4-2 victory that allowed them to walk off Memorial Field as league champions.

It was a hard-fought road to the title for Burroughs (15-3-5, 11-1-2), which finished the league campaign with 35 points, just two points ahead of Pasadena (15-1-4, 10-1-3 for 33 points). The pressure was put on the Indians when earlier in the day Pasadena earned a 3-2 victory over rival Muir.

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Burroughs is ranked No. 6 in CIF Southern Section Division III and Pasadena is No. 5 in the division.

"We all felt a little pressure coming in," said Burroughs senior co-captain Michael Conrad. "We beat [Burbank] the first time we played them, so maybe we came in a little overconfident this time. Because of that, I think we played a little slow in the first half and that's what made it such a close game."

In the team's first meeting Jan. 24, Burbank (1-13 in league) suffered a 4-1 defeat.

Along with being the second consecutive title for the Indians, it was the ninth league crown — five in the Foothill League and four in the Pacific League — for coach Mike Kodama, who is in his 25th year.

However, this time around, the Bulldogs — who were left with just three players on the bench Thursday — gave their cross-town rivals all they could handle.

"We expected as much; it's a rivalry game," Kodama said. "They made us work and they played well. It was not an easy game for us at all."

Burbank Coach Loi Phan, who said he is considering stepping down as coach, was proud of his team's effort.

"Coming in, everybody thought they we just going to steamroll us and we didn't have a chance," said Phan, who also coaches the school's boys' and girls' tennis teams. "But our guys battled and they put up a good effort. I told them if they could earn the respect of their opponent, they can walk away with their heads held high."

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