A bit sluggish at the start, the Burbank High boys’ soccer team turned things up a notch in a hurry.
It’s the kind of response the Bulldogs sought while embarking on the next chapter in the program’s history.
Burbank turned to one of its younger players to get things going, as sophomore Erik Antanesyan scored two first-half goals to power Burbank to a 2-1 nonleague home win against Hart on Thursday.
Antanesyan, who is normally a goalkeeper, made the seamless transition to forward to aid the Bulldogs (2-0) in a well-played match with the Indians (1-1).
“It’s a big win against a really good team,” said Antanesyan, who scored his goals about 15 minutes apart. “I thought we were asleep early on in the game, and we needed to be better to have a chance at winning.
“We were missing some guys, so we had to make some adjustments in the lineup. This is a good win.”
Hart, which won the Foothill League championship and reached the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs last season, used its speed to create multiple scoring opportunities during the first 10 minutes of the contest.
The Indians took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Gustavo Valadez that beat Burbank goalkeeper Daniel Chtryan just inside the right post in the 17th minute.
The goal didn’t deflate Burbank, which took fourth in the Pacific League and fell in a Division VI wild-card match last year.
Antanesyan scored about a minute later to knot the match at 1 and give the Bulldogs some momentum before they adjusted nicely to limit Hart’s scoring opportunities by tightening up on defense.
“It was massive to be able to come back just like that,” Antanesyan said. “We knew we still had a lot of time, but we wanted to come back quickly.”
Burbank, which began the season with a 4-1 win against North Hollywood on Monday, took the lead for good when Antanesyan lofted a shot from about 15 yards out that struck under the crossbar and went across the goal line past goalkeeper Samuel Villapando in the 33rd minute.
It wasn’t immediately ruled a goal, but the officials confirmed after a brief meeting that the ball crossed the goal line.
“I controlled the ball and shot it high enough over the goalie,” Antanesyan said. “I was able to chip it, and I knew the shot went in.”
Burbank first-year coach Robert Romero said he liked Burbank’s response after yielding the first goal.
“We knew coming in that Hart had a very good team,” Romero said. “It’s a good test for us playing them.
“We were able to bounce back by getting that goal to tie it up, then we started to get better, and then Erik scored a very nice second goal. When our guys come together, it’s a big thing in that we know we can go far.”
Chtryan finished with 12 saves, including six in the second half. In the first half, Chtryan made to diving stop on a shot inside the box by Juan Renteria in the ninth minute.
Burbank will next participate in a nonleague road match against La Canada at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 29.