Tag Archives: Carina Sierra

Burroughs High’s Brady Riggs Finds Enough Time

By Rick Assad

Since there are only 24 hours in a day, you could say that time is Brady Riggs’ biggest enemy.

When Riggs isn’t with his family, you can find him coaching the Burroughs High girls’ soccer team, the Crescenta Valley SC club soccer squad, acting as UC Irvine’s assistant women’s golf coach and a professional golf instructor for the last 27 years.

Sure, it’s a whirlwind existence and consumes a great deal of time, but Riggs, named by Golf Magazine as one of the Top 100 Teachers and has sent more than 150 golfers to the college level, wouldn’t have it any other way.

Riggs is extremely thankful that he has a supportive wife, who is an assistant coach at Burroughs.

Burroughs High girls’ soccer coach Brady Riggs is also a golf instructor. (Photo courtesy Brady Riggs).

Though soccer and golf are vastly different, coaching is coaching, according to Riggs, named the No. 5 golf teacher in 2017 in California according to Golf Digest.

“Coaching girls soccer is no different than coaching any other sport,” he said. “Once the fundamentals are understood and mastered, the game gets much easier. The challenges of coaching a team sport make it quite different from an individual sport like golf in that the team chemistry can have a significant impact on performance.”

Riggs, who will begin his sixth season as the Indians’ soccer coach and has been a soccer coach for 15 years, said certain individual traits make his job easier.

“The most important quality in a player is their desire to compete,” he pointed out. “These players see setbacks as opportunities to improve. Competitive players aren’t looking for the path of least resistance. They want to put in the time and effort it takes to be a champion.”

Riggs, who is an instructor on the Champions Tour, Asia Tour, LPGA Tour, as well as working with celebrities like Kenny G. and many others, noted the importance of team chemistry.

“There is only so much the coaching staff can do to get the team working as a unit towards a common goal,” said Riggs, who was inducted into the Burroughs Sports Hall of Fame. “The connection between the coaching staff and the team goes through the natural leaders on the team.

Indians’ girls’ soccer coach Brady Riggs has some words of wisdom. (Photo courtesy Brady Riggs).

“We were extremely lucky last season. We had outstanding leadership in Maddy Sena, Carina Sierra and Abbie Riggs. They knew the role for all the players on the field. Played with passion and courage and didn’t let external drama enter the program.”

This season’s edition placed second in the Pacific League, went 14-3-2 overall, which was the best record over the last 24 years and won a CIF Southern Section playoff match for the first time in nearly a decade.

Riggs, who has led the Indians into the postseason every year, said a few matches were truly memorable.

“There are a couple of matches that stand out over the last five years,” he said. “In 2017, both of my daughters [Maddie and Abbie] started in Maddie’s last home game against Burbank. Maddie scored and we tied up the game with only a few minutes to go.

“Last season we had a battle for the ages against Arcadia. Tied up the game late and saved one off our own goal line in the final seconds to finish 1-1.”

Brady Riggs with two UC Irvine golfers. (Photo courtesy Brady Riggs).

Riggs, named by Golf Magazine as one of the top 25 Teachers in America, said there is tremendous joy in coaching each sport.

“There are more similarities than differences when it comes to the satisfaction in coaching both sports,” he said. “Regardless of it being soccer or golf, success is a long-term process that requires commitment, skill, development, focused and precise training, constant adjustments and perseverance. This process doesn’t occur over a matter of weeks or months, but takes many years to achieve a high level of success.”

Part of getting better is listening and taking what the coach imparts said Riggs, who coached Danielle Yang to consecutive U.S. Amateur Championships and also the World No. 1 amateur ranking.

“The willingness to listen, serious talent and tremendous work ethic is shared with all elite athletes,” said Riggs, who was also voted into the Southern California PGA Teachers Hall of Fame. “While it’s obvious that a PGA tour player and a high school soccer player are on different levels, the desire to win is no different. A common trait I see in all great athletes is a willingness to evaluate their performances, good and bad, to see where they can improve for their next competition.”

Riggs, who works with PGA Tour member Brandon Hagy, added: “Successful athletes ask questions of their coaches, demand challenging practice sessions and focus on their training as if it was a competition,” he said. “They realize it’s impossible to flip a switch once the competition begins. That switch must be during practice.”

Riggs, who said that he has been influenced by John Wooden, Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola, V.O. “Red” Allen, Ed Ibarguen and Gregg McHatton, has his personal philosophy when it comes to playing time.

“I strongly believe in a meritocracy,” he said. “I base playing time almost exclusively on who is the best player for a given position.”

Brady Riggs shown just before a Burroughs High soccer match. (Photo courtesy Brady Riggs).

How about playing style? “We are a possession focused team who is mandated to play out of the back,” he said. “I want all 11 players on the field involved in attacking and defending with the focus on keeping possession of the ball. If we have the ball, we can score and they can’t.”

With regard to coaching girls’ soccer versus players on the PGA tour, what’s the biggest difference?

“The girls will work extremely hard and give everything they have when they know their teammates and coaches care about them,” Riggs said. “They are more committed to the concept of team and generally don’t care about stats and showing off as they do about winning.

Brady Riggs with a student at a recent match. (Photo courtesy Brady Riggs).

“At the same time, they don’t watch the game as much when they aren’t playing and don’t get the osmosis that naturally occurs when seeing the best players in the world play on a regular basis.”

Riggs pointed out that high school athletes and PGA Tour members are both willing to listen and learn.

“While it may seem surprising, professional golfers are extremely serious about listening to their coaches, despite their obvious talent and success,” he said. “In fact, you could argue that one of the reasons they made it to that level was because they were willing to listen to people who can help them continue to improve.

“When you consider that Tiger Woods, Jordan Speith, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and the vast majority of the Tour players have coaches, it speaks to their willingness to listen.”

Riggs has his own mentors and they include his parents. “There’s no question that the most influential people in my life have been my parents [Phil and Dale],” he said. “It was made very clear to me as a young athlete that quitting wasn’t an option, respecting the game was mandatory and if they were keeping score you might as well be the one who wins. The life lessons have never stopped.”

Burroughs Girls Soccer Tie Crescenta Valley 2-2 In Pacific League Match

By Rick Assad

 

Perhaps it was fitting that the Burroughs High girls’ soccer team and Crescenta Valley, two hugely successful programs, ended up tied 2-2 during Friday’s Pacific League match at Memorial Field.

The Falcons had a pair of chances in the waning moments to pull out a win, but senior goalie Samantha Martinez stuffed out those threats.

Sophomore Faith Sales had a blast from 10 yards in the 80th minute for the Falcons (5-5-4 and 4-0-1 in league) and sophomore Kathryn Thamasian’s rebound also didn’t find the net.

“There was more focus during the second half,” Martinez said. “We had talked about how we were going to bring it out. In the second half we were much more motivated and I felt like we were working more as a team. With CV we’ve always had a rivalry. We both fought hard and we both wanted it. We have to bring it to them the next time.”

These two powerhouses will meet on Feb. 2 at Crescenta Valley with a 3:15 p.m. start.

Olivia Cashman unloads a shot against the Falcons during Friday’s 2-2 tie. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs coach Brady Riggs expected a close match, but felt his team still should have won.

“We made some adjustments that we need to make,” he said of the second half. “They won a lot of balls. They were quick in the midfield. They were faster to the ball in the first half. They were better in the first half. We were better in the second half.”

Riggs said it was tight throughout, as expected. “I think it was a pretty even game,” he noted. “It’s one of those games that could have gone either way. We don’t play to tie. A tie is not in our vocabulary.”

Sophomore midfielder Olivia Cashman delivered the final kick, a 20-yarder in the extra time for the Indians.

Crescenta Valley’s two goals came off the foot of freshman Chloe Ataya, including a 25-yarder from the right side in the fifth minute that settled into the left corner of the goal.

Sophomore forward Trinity Vournas is about to pass the ball against the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians (9-2-2 and 4-0-1 in league) tied it at 1-1 in the 27th minute on freshman forward Lauryn Bailey’s 25-yarder.

In the 44th minute, Burroughs pulled ahead 2-1 on junior forward Megan Rangel-Lynch’s five-yarder off a rebound.

Crescenta Valley then leveled it at 2-2 on Ataya’s 15-yard penalty kick in the 50th minute.

Ataya had a 15-yard tapper in the opening minute and a 25-yarder that sailed wide left in the third minute.

In the seventh minute, Falcon freshman Ashlin Cuesta’s five-yarder failed to hit the mark.

Senior midfielder Maddy Sena unloaded a 20-yarder in the ninth minute for the Indians, and was followed by Ataya’s 15-yard header in the 11th minute.

Burroughs junior midfielder Abbie Riggs walloped a 23-yard penalty kick that was blocked in the 15th minute.

In the 18th minute, the Falcons’ Amy Rowe had a weak attempt from 25 yards.

Two minutes later, Cuesta’s five-yarder failed to locate the net and one minute later senior Lindsay Sanfilippo’s 20-yarder also missed the target.

Sophomore forward Trinity Vournas had a 20-yard boot in the 23rd minute for the Indians.

The Indians ended the first half with a Sena’s 25-yard kick drifting wide right in the 33rd minute and in the 39th minute, sophomore defender Orla Giffen’s 20-yard header also didn’t land in the net.

Rowe’s 25-yard kick in the 43rd minute opened the second half, and after each team scored that evened it at 2-2, Sales had a corner kick in the 56th minute.

The Indians had the next eight shots that included senior forward Catrina Villalpando’s 25-yarder in the 57th minute, senior defender Anna Kasper’s four-yarder that scooted wide right in the 60th minute, Giffen’s follow-up in the same minute, senior defender Natalie Celio’s 10-yarder that hit the football crossbar in the 62nd minute, junior defender Emily McHorney’s 25-yarder that sailed wide right in the 64th mimnute, senior defender Carina Sierra’s 30-yarder in the 67th minute, Villalpando’s 15-yarder in the 71st minute and McHorney’s 35-yarder in the 76th minute.

Burroughs, Burbank Girls Soccer Looking to Prove Themselves

A year after both Burroughs and Burbank High qualified for the CIF Southern Section girls soccer playoffs, both programs find themselves in new scenarios entering this season. Both teams were hit hard to graduation, but have the potential to do well even if both squads are young.

Burroughs

The Indians went 12-9-2 overall last season and 8-5-1 in league. Burroughs lost in a CIF Southern Section Division 4 wild card game against Alemany. They should have a strong attack led by junior midfielder Abbie Riggs and sophomore midfielder Olivia Cashman, who will support senior striker Catrina Villalpando.

“We’re a pretty young group. The league has changed after last season,” Burroughs coach Brady Riggs said. “Arcadia has lost some really good players. We’re hoping that they are not as strong. I think it will be Arcadia, CV and us. We want to have games late in the season that really matter. We’d like to be in contention for the league title. I think we have a team that can do that.”

Riggs said his team will rely on a total team effort.

“We don’t have anyone we’re expecting to carry us. We are a really good team,” he said.

Riggs noted that a number of his players also play together at the club level.

“We have a lot of continuity there, which will help us a lot,” he said.

Senior Maddy Sena is expected to hold down the defensive midfield role. Senior Emily Payne will also see time in the midfield.

Seniors Carina Sierra and Anna Kasper will lead the center of the defense. Seniors Nathalie Celio and Lali Aguilar as well as juniors Emily McHorney and Samantha Avendano will also be in the mix for playing time as well as sophomores Ava Kramer and Orla Griffen.

Senior Samantha Martinez is the starting goalkeeper and is backed up by Diana Santos.

Junior Megan Rangel-Lynch and sophomore Trinity Vournas will also lend a hand in the attack.

Freshman Lauryn Bailey could be a future star and is expected to play in either the midfield or the attack.

Burbank

The Bulldogs finished 7-10-3 overall last season and 6-5-3 in league. Burbank lost in the first round of the CIF playoffs to Brentwood.

New coach Pablo Diaz will hope to get his team back to the playoffs.

“The main thing is to build the program from scratch. I want to set the foundation for the years to come,” Diaz said. “We are definitely looking at the next couple of years. This is a building year. We are getting better every time we play and as a coach that’s what you want to see.”

In the goalie position, the Bulldogs will have Isabella Bowman and Ashley Im, a transfer from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

Defensively, Burbank will be led by the group of Alexia Muller, Erin Trainor, Tatiana Castaneda and Alina Portillo. Mariella Castaneda and Stephanie Powers will also lend support in the back.

In the midfield, Maria Perez, Vicky Mongiarto, Isabella Silva and Jessica Rocha lead the way with help from Lulu Kapadia, Ani Akopyan and Stephanie Rea.

In the attack, Bekka Moke and Lili Partida expected to be the leaders, but will be supported by wings Dana Bibba and Anzhela Asatryan.