A pound of confidence has gone a really long way for the Burroughs High girls’ water polo team.
It seems after falling to perennial power Crescenta Valley 8-6 on Feb. 8 in the Pacific League championship, this has empowered the Indians to reach the CIF Southern Section Division VI quarterfinals after sideswiping visiting Walnut 13-5 in the second round on Thursday afternoon.
“That game versus CV just showed the girls that we are a force to be reckoned with,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “It’s really cool to see their confidence. This is the most confident they’ve been all season. They’re taking it to the next level.”
Behind the overall play of junior utility Aleah Orozco, who had a match-high five goals with four steals and junior attacker Brianna Meneses with three goals, the Indians (12-5) will now play Tustin on Saturday.
“I think honestly, because CV has been a really big rival of ours since forever, that we’ve always come after them and I really think that we came so close to them and that made us more confident,” Orozco said.
Orozco added: “The confidence somehow turned a lightbulb in our head and caused our offense and defense to get better.”
Senior utility Gwendolyn Turla (four steals) along with senior attacker Bianca Sanchez each dropped in two goals while senior attacker Cameron Flores added one goal.
“Nice balance of having a very good defense and then having scorers all around,” Cook said. “Our defense played a really tight press. They were playing in their face. They’re really confident.”
Burroughs, which lost to Crescenta Valley 11-6 in its first league encounter on Jan. 9, sprinted ahead 3-2 in the first quarter.
Turla’s eight-footer with an assist from junior goalie Isabella Erickson made it 1-0 with 6:01 left on the clock.
Orozco’s 12-footer with an assist from Turla evened it at 2-2 with 3:25 left in the period.
When Flores found the back of the net on a 10-foot dart with Turla’s assist and 1:34 remaining, the Indians waltzed ahead 3-2.
Burroughs pulled in front 6-3 at halftime after Sanchez unloaded an eight-footer on an assist from Flores with 6:40 on the ticker that made it 4-2.
The Indians’ advantage swelled to 5-2 with 2:33 left in the second period on Turla’s 12-footer with an assist from sophomore goalie Emmanuella Nathan.
When Orozco scored on a five-foot blast with help from Sanchez and five seconds left, the lead ballooned to 6-3.
Sanchez scored on an eight-foot dagger with Turla’s assist that pushed the margin to 7-3 with 6:48 left in the third quarter.
Orozco scored from eight feet with 5:11 on the clock to make it 8-3 and Orozco then added a 10-footer with 4:32 left that made it 9-3 heading into the fourth period.
A tally by Orozco from five feet supplied the Indians a 11-3 edge with 5:51 showing.
Meneses then scored three goals in the fourth period that included a 12-footer with 6:37 left for a 10-3 lead, a 12-footer on an assist from junior attacker Isabel Rosado with 3:18 remaining for a 12-4 edge and an eight-footer on another assist from Rosado with 2:32 left that made it 13-4.
Senior Kaitlin Garrett knocked in three goals for the Mustangs (13-13) and junior Paris Alvarado chipped in with two.
Garrett’s 10-footer with 4:03 left evened it at 1-1 in the initial frame and Garrett’s 10-footer gave Walnut a 2-1 lead with 3:42 left heading into the second quarter.
Garrett’s eight-footer with an assist from Alvarado and 1:24 left before the half cut the Indians’ lead to 5-3.
Alvarado’s five-meter penalty shot with 5:36 left in the match shaved the advantage to 11-4 and Alvarado’s six-footer with 54 seconds showing made it 13-5.