Just when it looked like things were looking good for the Burroughs High boys’ soccer team the injury bug has hit the team.
The injuries were too much to overcome against a sneaky Birmingham team that earned a 2-0 win over the Indians in the championship match of the Ralph Brandt Tournament at St. Francis in La Canada Flintridge.
Burroughs played the match without midfielder Jake Lasso-Spell, who had five goals in the first six matches of the season. Lasso-Spell suffered a broken hand against Royal on Saturday that was not diagnosed until after the match was over.
The Indians lost central defender Richard Alonzo to a knee injury just 10 minutes into the match.
“Richard is the heart and soul of the team. You could see the difference,” Burroughs coach Mike Kodama said. “The game was all one way with Richard and when we lost him the whole momentum shifted and we had to recover and get back up to speed.”
Burroughs actually looked better from the start.
Anton Prather took a left-footed shot in the first minute that narrowly missed the right post.
In the 8th minute, left back Diego Galaviz hit the top cross bar with a left-footed shot. William Rosales was able to recover the rebound, but his shot went just over the goal.
“We had our opportunities early,” Kodama said.
Late in the first half, Birmingham started to come alive with its attacking duo of Aldo Perez and Carlos Contreras. The pair nearly teamed up on a goal in the 34th minute. In the 38th minute they were on target as Perez intercepted a pass from Burroughs’ back line and was able to find Contreras who slipped the ball past Burroughs goalie Jordan Morgan.
“We made a big mistake and they capitalized,” Kodama said.
Despite the loss, Kodama was pleased with many things he saw from his team.
“It’s a grind to play in the tournament,” he said. “I’m proud of the guys for the way they played and the effort they put in. Top to bottom there are no easy games. To get this far is a huge accomplishment.”
Burroughs goalie Jordan Morgan who came up big several times in the second half reflected on his team.
“It’s unfortunate. They are an important part of the team,” Morgan said. “The bench players stood up and played their positions as best they could. But we do need them (Lasso-Spell and Alonzo) in league and CIF.”
Burroughs nearly scored in the 60th minute on a header by Prather.
Prather came close again in the 69th minute, only to shoot just over the top crossbar.
Birmingham scored its second goal in the 76th minute as Estuardo Zecena fired a bullet that Morgan blocked. Contreras picked up the rebound and scored.