Some players simply have a nose for the ball. Manny Gonzalez does and it usually results in a goal.
On Thursday afternoon, Gonzalez, a sophomore forward, had a hat trick and it helped the Burroughs High boys’ soccer team secure a 4-0 victory over host Burbank in a Pacific League finale.
The Indians also became the league champion after Arcadia and Crescenta Valley battled to a 2-2 tie.
The opening half was close with the only score coming in the 37th minute on a 15-yarder from Gonzalez, who could have been called for being offside after receiving a pass.
“We were all facing adversity. Trying to get it going. Trying to get in a groove,” Gonzalez said of the initial half. “The referees were calling what they were calling. It went in [the first goal] and it changed the game.”
Gonzalez collected his second tally after making a clever juke move that brought out Burbank’s goalie.
From there, it was fairly easy as Gonzalez tapped in a five-yarder in the 44th minute to make it 2-0.
Gonzalez’s third goal came in the same manner with another slick move that brought out the goalie and a five-yard kick in the 63rd minute that extended the lead to 3-0.
“My goals don’t mean anything without these guys,” said Gonzalez, who has the freshman school-record of 15 goals and 17 this season, which is a school mark for sophomores. “They [teammates] feed me the ball. They constantly support me even when they don’t go in.”
When senior goalie Alfredo Tejeda was asked to kick a 25-yard penalty kick in the 74th minute, the Indians’ lead swelled to 4-0.
“It’s a rivalry game. Burbank came to play. I’m not surprised,” Burroughs coach Michael Kodama said. “The big play was Manny’s goal just before the half.”
Burbank’s best opportrinity to score came in the 61st minute when sophomore midfielder Nick Diaz’s 20-yarder hit the left post. A 30-yard free kick by Diaz came in the second minute.
Junior midfielder Dylan Mahoney had a 45-yarder in the sixth minute for the Indians (14-5-3 and 10-2-1 in league) and senior midfielder Sam Hawksworth tossed in a 20-yard header in the sixth minute.
Junior defender Levon Sahakyan contributed a 40-yard free kick in the ninth minute for the Bulldogs (3-10-3 and 2-9-3 in league).
Senior forward Matthew Cardenas tacked on a 35-yarder in the 19th minute for the Indians, who beat the Bulldogs 4-1 in the first meeting this season and also won the league banner in 2017.
Junior defender Sebastian Causarano had a 40-yarder in the 23rd minute for Burbank.
Sophomore forward Elias Galaviz had a 15-yarder that the Burbank goalie scooped up in the 23rd minute.
Junior forward Allen Arsenian’s 30-yarder sailed too high over the net in the 25th minute for the Bulldogs.
The Indians, who were called for six offside penalties in the opening half, closed out the first half with a 25-yarder in the 26th minute by Hawksworth, a 20-yard that drifted wide right in the 27th minute by Galaviz and a 35-yard free kick in the 35th minute by senior forward Estaban Alcantar.
Diaz had a 20-yarder in the 45th minute and senior defender Ocelotl Tellez added a 15-yard header in the 54th minute for the Bulldogs.
Hawksworth had a 15-yarder in the 57th minute and Galaviz had a corner kick in the 58th minute.
Gonzalez delivered a 25-yarder in the 71st minute and Alcantar tossed in a 15-yarder in the 75th minute.
Alcantar added a 32-yarder in the 76th minute, Cardenas a 25-yard free kick in extra time and Gonzalez had a 25-yarder in the extra frame.