By Rick Assad
A decent opening half by the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team was followed by an unsteady second half as Dos Pueblos outscored the host Indians 10-4 and cruised to an 18-11 triumph in a CIF Southern Section Division III second-round playoff match on Thursday.
The Indians, who won the Division V title in 2016, had too many turnovers and poor offensive execution as the Chargers played relentless defense, especially junior goalie Angus Goodner, who had 13 saves.
Burroughs was paced offensively by senior utility David Arakelyan’s four goals.
Leading Dos Pueblos was freshman Sammy Arshadi with five tallies while senior Jason Teng and sophomore Ethan Parrish each knocked in four.
“We just stopped executing,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “We started rushing a little bit and lost control of the game.”
Cook added: “There was a loss of focus which led to not executing, which led to them countering, which led them to scoring,” he said. “Even with timeouts we couldn’t execute.”
With the Chargers (23-7) ahead 8-7 at the half, the third quarter opened up with Parrish scoring on a six-footer and 5:47 left and Arshadi adding a five-footer with 3:54 on the clock that made it 10-7.
Senior utility J.J. Ambartsumyan’s tally from eight feet and 3:47 left trimmed the lead to 10-8 and senior setter Marko Vucetic’s goal from four feet sliced it to 10-9.
“During the third quarter we discussed on the wall that we still have like five minutes left and it’s not over. It’s five points,” Ambartsumyan said. “But we just said it. We didn’t follow what we said on the wall. Today we walked in a little too confident.”
Dos Pueblos tacked on four straight goals to make it 14-9 heading into the fourth period.
In this stretch, Arshadi’s tally from six feet and 2:40 left made it 11-9, Teng’s six-footer with 1:45 showing pushed it to 12-9, Parrish’s six-footer with 1:24 on the clock made it 13-9 and junior Wyatt Meckelburg’s five-footer with 40 seconds left saw the Chargers take control 14-9.
When Arakelyan scored from five feet and 6:43 left in the fourth period, the lead was reduced to 14-10, but Meckelburg’s five-footer 11 seconds later pushed the margin to 15-10.
“I think defensively we couldn’t execute, especially in the second half and first half too,” Arakelyan said. “When you let up eight goals in the first half, you can’t expect to win. They scored on a lot of counterattacks. They converted on their opportunities and we didn’t.”
Senior setter/defender Arthur Sefayan’s five-meter penalty shot failed the locate the target, but Arakelyan’s five-meter penalty toss with 4:13 left shaved the lead to 15-11.
That was it for the Indians (15-13) as Dos Pueblos ended the frame with three straight goals as Teng tacked on a five-footer with 2:44 left, followed by sophomore Alex Reilly’s five-footer with 2:18 left and freshman Rex Goodner’s three-footer with 1:41 on the ticker.
The first frame was deadlocked at 3-3 as Ambartsumyan scored on an eight-footer with 4:58 remaining that made it 1-0 and a six-footer with 3:23 left as the Indians led 2-1. Arakelyan’s three-footer with 22 seconds on the clock tied it at 3-3.
“Since it’s my last year, it’s was a little tough losing second round at CIF,” Ambartsumyan said. “I was still excited about winning league. That was also an accomplishment. We were just looking forward to going to CIF, but that didn’t work out this year.”
Arshadi’s five-meter penalty shot evened it at 1-1 with 4:07 left, his eight-footer with 1:10 showing gave the Chargers a 3-2 edge, while Parrish’s tally from two feet tied it at 2-2.
Dos Pueblos outscored Burroughs 5-4 in the second period as Teng collected a two-footer with 5:01 left that evened it at 4-4 and a three-footer with 4:20 left that leveled it at 5-5.
Arshadi’s two-footer with 2:39 remaining tied it at 6-6, Reilly’s five-footer with 1:25 left gave the Chargers a 7-6 edge and Parrish’s five-footer with three seconds left made it 8-7.
Vucetic scored two goals in the second frame as he nailed a three-footer with 4:39 remaining as the Indians darted ahead 5-4 and added an eight-footer with 46 seconds left that tied it at 7-7.
Arakelyan’s 12-footer with 5:33 on the clock put the Indians in front 4-3 and Sefayan’s three-footer with 4:39 left supplied the Indians with a 5-4 edge.