Burbank Girls Water Polo Edges Hoover 5-2

Lizzie Bislamyan leads the way for the Bulldogs with a match-best four goals,

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Burbank knocked off Hoover 5-2 in a Pacific League girls' water polo match on Thursday. (Photo by Rick Assad)

By Rick Assad

In terms of matches having been played before Thursday’s clash between Burbank High and Hoover, it was all in favor of the Bulldogs.

Burbank entered the Pacific League girls’ water polo encounter having been in the pool 11 times compared to two for the Tornadoes.

This turned out to be a huge advantage for Burbank and the Bulldogs made good use as Lizzie Bislamyan set the pace with a match-best four goals as the visitors edged Hoover 5-2 at the Glendale High Aquatic Center.

Goaltender Angela Khachikyan had a significant hand in the victory as she stopped several balls from going into the net and also batted away a few.

At one stretch, Bislamyan scored three of the four total goals as the Bulldogs led 3-1 with 1:09 left in the third period.

“Yes, Lizzie did fantastic. It was a slow start, but she really stepped it up in the second half to help us win the game,” Burbank first-year coach Hayk Minasyan said. “It was our first league game, so it started out slow, but the girls finished with the win so I’m very proud.”

While shots were taken by both sides, a few came up short or were tossed too high over the net.

Burbank outshot Hoover in the first half 12-11 and finished the match outshooting the hosts 28-26.

“I’m more excited to see how they develop throughout the season,” Minasyan said. “It’s difficult with not having a home pool and needing to travel to practice and games, however, this team is resilient and I’m excited to see them improve.”

The Bulldogs only had nine players available which means that there were two players on the bench.

The Burbank girls’ water polo team listening to instructions. (Photo by Rick Assad)

The initial tally of the match came from Bislamyan on a three-meter penalty toss with 6:24 left in the second period for a 1-0 lead.

Neither team was able to put the ball into the goal in the first quarter, but the scoring pace picked up, especially in the third and fourth periods.

The Tornadoes’ Jaelynn Romano tied the match at 1-1 with a 12-yard toss and 6:31 left in the second frame. 

A couple of minutes later, Bislamyan really found her range as she accounted for back-to-back goals.

They came on a 12-yarder with 4:18 left in the opening half for a 2-1 lead for the Bulldogs and added a 14-yard laser with 1:09 remaining as Burbank (4-8 and 1-0 in league) built a 3-1 advantage which it took into the fourth period.

Natalie Bislamyan chipped in with a 12-yard throw and 5:57 left in the fourth period which gave the Bulldogs a 4-1 lead.

Hoover (1-2 and 0-1 in league) sliced the lead in half to 4-2 on a 14-yard tally from Gunnar Sumner as 5:33 was left.

Lizzie Bislamyan capped off the afternoon with a seven-yard dagger as 2:02 remained for a 5-2 edge.

The Bulldogs began the season with three consecutive losses and were beaten by Louisville 14-3, Classical Academy 11-4 and Troy 16-3.

Burbank rebounded and defeated Santee 18-1, then lost to Flintridge Prep, Marymount 9-4 and Louisville.

The Bulldogs knocked off Patriot 10-2, and then Walnut 10-4, but were sunk by Los Altos 16-5 and Sonora 13-5.