By Rick Assad
Getting early matches out of the way are usually a good thing, but not when you’re on the losing end.
The Burroughs High boys’ water polo team fell behind early, cut the deficit in half, managed one goal in the second half and lost to visiting La Canada 14-4 in a nonleague battle on Tuesday afternoon.
Senior Chase Legorreta scored two goals for the Indians, who were without their leading scorer from last season, David Arakelyan, who graduated.
Junior Chet Conlan and freshman Xavier Turla each scored for Burroughs, which trailed 4-2 after the first quarter.
The Indians, who had senior David Rosales in goal, ended the opening half down 9-3 and saw the Spartans pull ahead 11-4 at the end of the third.
Legorreta’s goal from eight feet with 2:22 left in the initial frame shaved the lead to 4-1 and Turla’s five-meter penalty shot with 1:59 remaining trimmed it to 4-2.
“They got to us pretty quickly,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “Made the adjustments. Made a lot of progress from last game. We’ve been working on some stuff in practice. They played pretty hard till the very end. Baby steps from here.”
A tally from Legorreta from 12 feet with 6:36 showing in the second period slipped past senior goalie Reza Nadaf and lowered La Canada’s edge to 5-3.
When Conlan’s point-blank shot found the back of the net and 6:28 on the clock in the third, La Canada’s advantage was sliced to 9-4.
The Spartans scored the first four goals of the match as sophomore Colin Nicholls (match-best five goals) scored with 6:39 showing on a five-meter penalty toss that made it 1-0.
Nicholls added a five-footer with 4:51 left for a 3-0 edge and a six-footer with 4:32 on the timer that made it 4-0.
“I think that definitely defense wins games,” La Canada coach Gilbert Millanes said. “Obviously you win games by scoring goals. I strongly believe that defense is connected with our counter-attack and our counter-attack is connected to our offense.”
Sophomore Lonnie Blanchard’s 10-footer found the back of the net with 6:06 left for a 2-0 lead.
Senior Vince Wardle’s eight-footer with 6:48 left in the second quarter put the Spartans in front 5-2.
La Canada then scored four straight as senior Robbie Louke (four goals) drilled a 16-footer with 6:15 left that made it 6-3.
Wardle nailed a five-footer with 4:49 on the clock for a 7-3 margin, Nicholls struck on a 15-footer with 3:32 left for an 8-3 lead and Louke capped off the outburst with an eight-footer and 37 seconds left.
The Spartans marched ahead 10-4 with 5:56 left in the third on a 10-footer from junior David Miketta and it became 11-4 on a point-blank goal from Nicholls with 2:24 on the ticker.
Louke added a pair of close-range goals in the final quarter that made it 12-4 with 6:02 left and 14-4 with 40 seconds left.
Sandwiched in between was senior Jack Applebaum’s shot from five feet and 5:01 remaining that made it 13-4.