The Pacific League girls’ water polo season is off and running even if school isn’t back in session yet.
However, things didn’t go so well for Burbank High in the opener, as the Bulldogs fell 9-7 to host Hoover High Tuesday.
“Both teams, we don’t have club players so these girls are true high school water polo players, who didn’t know anything about playing water polo before high school,” Burbank coach Melani Aghazarian said. “We’re still in our winter break. It is the first game of the new year. We have a lot of young girls on the team, so we are less experienced. We have a lot of second-year water polo players. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I think they have a lot of potential and they have a lot of talented that they haven’t fully tapped into.”
Hoover (4-6, 1-0) got a pair of goals in the final 2:25 from Juliana Aviles to break a deadlock and push the Tornadoes ahead for good.
The hosts got on the board first as Ellysee Baker scored on a turnaround shot with 6:40 left in the first period.
Natalie Bislamyan tied things for the Bulldogs (6-6, 0-1) as she followed up a blocked first attempt with 6:08 left in the first quarter.
After Hoover went up 2-1, the Bulldogs tied things with 3:56 left in the first quarter as Makala Kelley put the ball in the upper left corner of the goal.
The Tornadoes led 3-2 after one quarter.
Burbank’s Kelley tied things with 4:56 left in the first half as she followed up a rebound. The Bulldogs quickly scored two more as Valentina Angel scored on a turnaround with 4:25 left in the half.
Bislamyan scored on a shot in the upper left corner to give Burbank a 5-3 advantage.
But Hoover had two late first-half goals to tie things going to halftime.
Hoover scored on the first goal of the second half as Baker followed up a blocked shot to give her team the advantage with 6:29 left in the third period.
Karina Ghukasyan scored from the left side of the pool by putting the ball in the upper right corner to tie things again at 6.
Baker gave Hoover a 7-6 lead with 19 seconds left in the third quarter.
Burbank’s Frida Mejia tied things with a shot on the right side of the goal with 5:39 to play.