Over the course of the past three decades the Burbank High boys’ soccer team has not won very many times against Burroughs and its longtime coach Mike Kodama.
But with new coaches for both programs and in a shortened season due to COVID-19, it is tough to predict what might happen.
Thursday afternoon the host Bulldogs showed that they are a program on the rise, earning a 2-0 victory over the Bears. It was Burbank’s first win over Burroughs since 2016.
“There’s some talent on this team. I’m proud of the performances they have put in,” Burbank coach Raz Adoti said. “It hasn’t been easy. We had a rocky start, but everyone has because of the Covid year. The players, I’m just getting to know their games and figuring out positions for them. It was a baptism of fire, but we are gelling. We found our stride and are understanding our roles.”
Burbank (3-3-1 overall and in league) will now wait to hear if it is selected to participate in the CIF Southern Section playoffs. If Burbank qualifies, it would be the program’s first playoff berth since 2001.
The Bulldogs got on the board just minutes into the match as Isaiah Marsh scored on a goal from outside the box.
Burroughs coach Michael Solano, whose team was playing without star Manny Gonzalez who had a club soccer commitment, praised the Bulldogs.
“We expected a big game from them and they came out more inspired and with more energy,” Solano said of Burbank. “We came out a bit flat and off guard and that second goal was the nail in the coffin. It is unfortunate, but I want to give Burbank credit. They played well, they outplayed us, they outcoached us, they did their part to win the game.”
Burbank nearly added a second goal early in the second half as Gabriel Mier was shoved in the box on a breakaway and should have been awarded a penalty kick. He was able to still keep his balance and pass the ball off to George Attalah whose shot was cleared off the line by the Burroughs defense.
The run wasn’t finished though, as Burbank’s Nicholas Diaz gained possession and fired a shot that hit the goal post, but would not go in.
In the closing moments of the match, Burbank’s Mier nearly put the ball in the back of the net, but was denied by a diving save from Burroughs goalie Jacob Cardenas.
Moments later on a corner kick, Burbank’s Narek Chobanyan headed home a loose ball to give Burbank a two-game advantage in stoppage time.
Burroughs finishes the regular season at 2-3-2.