With a new season set to begin, the Burroughs High, Burbank and Providence girls’ soccer teams have taken inventory while shaping their rosters.
Burroughs was the lone local squad to qualify for the playoffs last season, while Burbank and Providence finished toward the lower echelon in their respective leagues.
Now, the Bears. Bulldogs and Pioneers look to harness their mostly younger groups of talent with the goal of making strides to currently solidify their foundations with an eye also on the future.
Burbank will bring aboard a new coach.
Here’s a closer look at the teams.
The Bears finished 13-7-1, 9-4-1 in the Pacific League for third place behind Arcadia and Crescenta Valley last season. Burroughs opened the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs with a 4-1 home win against Thacher in a wild-card match before seeing its season wrap up with a 2-1 road defeat against St. Genevieve in the first round.
Veteran Burroughs coach Brady Riggs said the Bears should again be in line to compete for a spot in the postseason.
“I don’t really have any other goals for results,” said Riggs, whose squad will remain in Division V. “I just want to see us improve and get better as the year goes on.
“Arcadia is the class of our league because they are well coached and always seem to have a lot of depth. Crescenta Valley is always difficult to play against. We have talented players, but we are not as deep or as talented as those teams. If we can play our system, I think we’ll have a good shot at competing against Arcadia and Crescenta Valley and make the playoffs.”
Burroughs will likely turn to senior forward/midfielder Graciela Gomez, junior forward Quiana Laughlin, junior centerback Vivian Wright and sophomore midfielder Samantha Sizemore to pave the way.
Riggs said there are some parts of the roster that need to be shored up.
“We’ve got a lot of speed and we will be able to score goals,” Riggs said. “The challenges will be on defense and in goal. We might have to go by committee with our goalkeepers.”
Dennis Leon takes over as coach of the Bulldogs. Leon, a Burbank High graduate, last coached the school’s junior varsity girls’ team in 2019.
Burbank went 3-14, 2-12 in the Pacific League for seventh place last season.
Leon said he’s eager to help point the Bulldogs, who are in Division VII, in the right direction.
“I’m very excited about what we have going,” Leon said. “I like the idea of being able to try to help turn around the program and we have a good group.
“We have a good group of freshmen and they play year round. We want to have a team competing for a spot in the playoffs. We are in a very tough league, but we should want to rise up to the challenge and show what we are capable of doing.”
Burbank will be paced by senior midfielder Sophie Peek, sophomore midfielder Emily Taghon, freshman midfielder Jocelyn Morinaga, freshman defender Olivia Bauer and freshman goalkeeper Sydney Evans-Armendariz.
The Pioneers will field an 18-played squad that will be anchored by 10 freshmen.
Providence finished last season 2-16-1, 0-10 in the six-team Prep League for last place.
Providence coach Gregg Cohen, who begins his second season, will look to infuse a young group of athletes to help build the program’s future.
“We will have a very young team,” Cohen said. “I am very happy with our group of freshmen and they have a good amount of experience playing club.
“I think we can certainly make some strides this season. We will play a more productive nonleague schedule that we hope will put us in position to win some league games.”
The Pioneers will rely on senior forward/midfielder Natalya Sanchez, senior defender Gianna Dimapilis, senior goalkeeper Siena Alarcon, junior striker Natalia Sanchez, freshman midfielder Paige Fairweather and freshman defender Emma Valera.
Providence will be in Division VII.