Creativity on set pieces is something the Burroughs High boys’ soccer team was lacking earlier in the season.
But the Indians have worked on things and they worked wonders Friday night. But it was not enough to get past Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League contest at Memorial Field that ended in a 1-1 draw.
“I think they showed a lot of heart and they fought in a very emotional game,” Burroughs coach Mitchell Kodama said of his team. “They fought hard even when we went down to 10 men.”
In the ninth minute, Elias Galaviz put in a short corner to Manny Gonzalez at the top of the 18-yard box.
Gonzalez surprised everyone with a superb shot into the right corner of the goal.
It was the 53rd in his career for the junior striker and 19th goal on the season. He is now two goals shy of the school career record, held by 1994 graduate Roberto Perez, who was on hand to watch the match.
Burroughs (7-6-3 overall, 5-1-2 in the league) nearly took a 2-0 lead in the 16th minute as a cross by Gonzalez was headed on goal by a diving Patrick Abarca.
Crescenta Valley starting goalkeeper Nick Shahbandarian made a fine save on the header and on the rebound.
Crescenta Valley nearly got on the board in the 22nd minute as striker Derek Keshishian got behind the Indian defense. But he was denied by goalie Jacob Cardenas, who came out to make a fine save.
Things got out hands as the match went on and the referee issued a number of yellow cards.
In the 26th minute, Burroughs David Gerlach had a very late challenge on CV’s Ian Khodjasarian, which drew a yellow card.
Gerlach was booked again later in the second half, which resulted in him being sent off and the Indians were reduced to 10 men with 30 minutes to play.
Crescenta Valley (6-5-5, 4-0-4) got a break in the 64th minute when Burroughs defender Wilson Harting gave enough of a push to Falcons’ striker Argin Baharians to warrant a penalty kick.
CV’s Eric Cho then put his penalty shot through the hands of Jacob Cardenas.
The goal gave CV some momentum.
However, Burroughs continued to fight and nearly scored in injury time as a shot by Galaviz was blocked by CV backup goalkeeper Ejmin Ohanian.
“I was confident in our boys to keep playing,” Kodama said of being playing with 10. “We were somewhat unfortunate not to get a second goal.”