The final result might indicate that the Burroughs High boys’ soccer team had a relatively easy time in a non-league contest against Brentwood School Tuesday evening at Memorial Field.
But the reality is that Burroughs actually struggled for good parts of the 3-0 victory.
“We started the first 20 minutes very slow. They are physically a team that is a little stronger than us, but in soccer, it is not always about the physical aspect,” Burroughs coach Makan Afzali said. “The first 20 minutes, we were a little shocked in the middle, and then we woke up.”
Brentwood had a number of quality chances in the early going, keeping Burroughs goalie Frank Hernandez busy.
“That’s part of the job of the keeper. He has to keep us in the game and he certainly did today,” Afzali said. “I’m very happy for him because that boosts his confidence. Those are mistakes in the back that we have to learn from. This is the preseason, so we are still learning.”
The visiting Eagles (2-1) nearly scored in the sixth minute when Zachary Khodabash dribbled around Hernandez and attempted to put the ball into the empty net. But Burroughs’ Alex Loera cleared the ball just before it was about to going in.
Burroughs (2-0) did not have a shot on target until the 34th minute when Andrew Rodas took a left-footed shot at the top of the goal box and was able to sneak it into the right corner past goalie Marcos Ikino.
Burroughs doubled its lead in the 47th minute as Loera curled a free kick from far outside the box into the upper right corner of the goal.
Minutes later, the visiting Eagles nearly cut the deficit in half as Hernandez came up big with a foot save off a shot from Cooper Hindshaw.
Brentwood continued to give Burroughs difficulty and forced Hernandez to make yet another foot save in the 70th minute.
“One-on-ones are something (I) and our keeper coach work on a lot,” Hernandez said. “That’s what helped tonight.”
But Burroughs was able to add an insurance goal in the 74th minute on a counterattack, as freshman midfielder Kyle Kozin found teammate Joseph Earl at the top of the goal box. Earl put the ball high into the right corner of the goal.
Brentwood continued to challenge Burroughs and nearly scored in the final minute when Jonah Gimbel pushed the ball just wide of the goal.