Tag Archives: Sophia Brice

Burbank Girls Water Polo Starts Fast, Wins 11-9 Over Glendale

By Rick Assad

 

Taking a few weeks off for Christmas vacation was both good and bad for the Burbank High girls’ water polo team.

It was a plus because several players were injured or sick which allowed them to heal and get well.

On the negative side, there could also be rust because of inactivity, but when the Bulldogs faced visiting Glendale on Tuesday afternoon, the team came out and scored five goals in the opening quarter en route to an 11-9 Pacific League win.

“I was nervous just because I knew last year we lost to them by a couple,” Burbank interim coach Zack Card said. “They came out really strong. A lot of our games we came out really beat. Not really focused. They were ball-watching.”

Sera Shahbazian scored three goals for Burbank in an 11-9 win over Glendale. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (4-6 and 1-1 in league) never trailed and led by senior Michelle Morlock’s five goals, including two in the initial frame.

“It’s important that you keep playing your hardest,” Morlock said. “Everyone knew what they were supposed to do and they did it. And that’s important. You need to be where you’re supposed to be and work as hard as everyone else.”

Morlock’s shot from point-blank range with 6:49 left in the first quarter made it 1-0 and Morlock’s close-range bullet with 3:55 left in the same frame extended the advantage to 3-0.

Morlock’s three-footer with 2:14 remaining on the ticker in the second period gave the Bulldogs a 7-3 lead.

“That’s something we’ve been practicing,” Morlock said of the team’s shot selection. “Knowing where to shoot and when to shoot. It’s about everyone driving and moving and getting to where they need to be.”

Morlock’s tally with 2:52 on the clock in the third period saw the Bulldogs, who finished tied for fifth place in league last season and didn’t make the CIF Southern Section playoffs, march ahead 8-5.

Another close-range shot attempt by Morlock with 6:42 left in the contest pushed Burbank’s lead to 10-5.

Sera Shahbazian notched three goals for the Bulldogs, including two in the opening frame that made it 2-0 on a five-footer with 5:22 left and another from five feet with less than second left for a 5-2 margin.

Shahbazian’s six-footer with 5:40 on the ticker in the fourth quarter then pushed Burbank’s lead to 11-5.

Sophia Brice’s goal from eight feet with 59 seconds left in the first frame made it 4-1 and Brice’s tally on a six-foot loft with 2:13 remaining handed the Bulldogs a 9-5 edge.

Patil Minassian’s eight-footer with 5:48 left in the second period catapulted the Bulldogs in front 6-3.

Senior Emma Mueller finished with five goals for the Nitros (3-6 and 1-2 in league) and had three consecutive scores in the fourth quarter.

Mueller’s eight-footer with 3:39 left sliced Burbank’s lead to 11-6, a six-footer with 1:32 lowered it to 11-7 and a five-footer with 50 seconds cut it to 11-8.

“In terms of development, I feel like our six on fives are definitely getting better,” Glendale coach Jazzmyne Urquiza said. “What we tend to do as a team is that we’re a second-half team. We do not play well in the first half and then we come back in the second half and sometimes it’s just not enough.”

Junior Bernica Doronila tacked on two goals for the Nitros and they came with 6:16 left in the second quarter, a five-footer that cut it to 5-3, and a tally with 29 seconds left the fourth quarter that drew Glendale to within 11-9.

Junior Jamie Fritz also chipped in with two goals and were knocked home in the first quarter on a 10-footer with 3:24 left that shaved Burbank’s edge to 3-1 and in the third period on a point-blank shot with 5:27 left as the Nitros came within 7-4.

Burbank’s Suzy Misiryan was the goaltender for three quarters and replaced by Jenny Stepanian in the fourth period.

Burroughs, Burbank Girls Water Polo Eye CIF Playoffs

By Rick Assad

 

Sometimes goals are realized and sometimes they’re not. In the case of the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ water polo teams, their objective is fairly simple and it’s to qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Each team is fairly young, and both have skilled players, so reaching the postseason is a reality. The Bulldogs and Indians will meet on Jan. 23 at Burroughs.

Junior goalie Emmanuella Nathan will be a key for Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians, who were 12-6 last season and 6-2 in the Pacific League for second place, will be led offensively by senior Aleah Orozco and junior goalie Emanuella Nathan.

Coach Jacob Cook is very optimistic about the team after reaching the quarterfinals a season ago.

“I’m looking forward to growing the team and improving as much as possible over the season,” Cook said. “The team is young in experience, but they are hard workers and eager to improve. I don’t know how the rest of the league is looking, but we are looking to progress as far as we can.”

Burbank has six quality players who can score at any moment. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The team consists of 15 players including 11 seniors and they are Amy Berberyan, Leann Bermudez, Samantha Leano, Megan Sawyer, Brianna Meneses, Bianey Mendoza, Jaelynn Bijasa, Kathryn Vlick, Isabel Rosado and Camila Panozo.

There are four juniors on the squad and they include Madeline Lingad, Chloe Caneday and Mallory Thomas.

The Indians have played a few matches including a 5-4 win over Clairemont of San Diego in which Orozco had a match-best four goals and Berberyan the game-winner, while Nathan finished with 24 saves.

The Bulldogs, who were 7-13 last season, are also quite tender, but eager to learn and are getting better with time, according to interim coach Zack Card, who is filling in for Allyson Young, who gave birth to a bouncing baby girl a few months ago.

The Indians are coming off a season in which they went to the CIF Southern Section playoffs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

There are 11 players on the team, with six players standing out according to Card.

There are three seniors and they are Patil Minassian, Camila Salas and Michelle Morlock.

“Patil is a very experienced player,” Card said. “She’s a four-year player. Incredible leadership in and out of the pool. A strong two-meter defender and a strong ball handler.”

Card spoke about Salas in glowing terms.

“She’s another four-year athlete. A strong swimmer and great on the counter attack,” Card noted.

The Bulldogs are gunning to finish high in the Pacific League. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Card then addressed Morlock.

“She’s an incredibly gifted athlete,” he pointed out. “A strong swimmer. Her mental awareness. Her water polo IQ. It’s a gift, really. She never gives up and never makes any excuses.”

The other three standout performers are juniors, Sophia Brice, Michelle Morozian and Sera Shahbazian.

Card also praised Brice. “Sophia is a strong counter-attack player with strong fundamentals,” he said.

Card also likes Shahbazian. “She’s just relentless on defense. Always working away from the ball, helping her teammates,” he said.

Card spoke about Morozian and what she brings to the table. “Her ability to play defense is incredible,” he said.

The rest of the squad consists of juniors Angie Chavez, Grace Tomasek, Anasheh Abedian, Gabby Aghajanyan and Ashley Karazi.

Burbank Girls Water Polo Struggles Against Marymount, Loses 10-4

By Rick Assad

 

A severe and early deficit faced the Burbank High girls’ water polo team on Monday afternoon at the Burroughs swimming pool.

Like a dragster taking off and then racing down the runway, the Sailors seized control in the first quarter, added to the lead in the second frame and took home a 10-4 decision in a nonleague match.

“That’s something we’re trying to work on this year, is coming out with intensity every quarter,” Marymount coach Nicholas Amstutz said. “We have four mini-games, so we have a fresh start.”

The Bulldogs couldn’t keep up with the Sailors and fell 10-4 in a nonleague match. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Toni Ashby paced Marymount offensively with four goals including three goals in the second period as the Sailors pulled ahead 9-0 at halftime.

Lizzy Reilly had three scores for the Sailors (3-1), knocking in two goals in the second frame.

“We only have three seniors on this team,” Amstutz said of his young squad that led 3-0 after the first quarter. “We have a lot of young talent. We like the three leaders for sure. The three seniors we have are our captains. They’ve been stepping up a lot.”

The Bulldogs (1-1) weren’t about to throw in the towel and rallied for three goals in the third quarter to slice the lead to 9-3.

Burbank struggled in the first half, but came on strong in the second half against Marymount. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sera Shahbazian’s tally from eight feet and 3:41 on the clock reduced the deficit to 9-1.

When Michelle Morlock knocked home a winner from close range and 2:13 left on the ticker, Burbank came within 9-2.

It became 9-3 with 1:05 left on the buzzer on Sophia Brice’s five-foot tally.

Shahbazian’s five-footer with 42 seconds remaining in the match trimmed Marymount’s lead to 10-4.

Ashby’s blast from eight feet and 1:13 remaining on the clock in the opening quarter made it 3-0 in favor of Marymount.

When Ashby located the back of the net from 10 feet and 4:26 showing in the second frame, the Sailors glided ahead 7-0 and with 3:20 on the buzzer, Ashby’s 15-footer made it 8-0.

An eight-footer by Ashby with 1:42 showing in the second period supplied the Sailors with a 9-0 advantage.

Reilly’s six-footer with 6:17 on the clock in the second stanza handed Marymount a 5-0 cushion and an eight-footer by Reilly with 5:32 left before the intermission pushed the advantage to 6-0.

After Reilly’s point-blank shot with 3:43 left on the clock in the contest, the Sailors scooted ahead 10-3.

Burbank, Burroughs Girls Water Polo Have High Expectations

By Rick Assad

Expectations are genuinely upbeat for the Burbank High and Burroughs girls’ water polo teams.

“I am very excited for our upcoming season,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “We have a lot of talented and experienced members returning who are well-rounded and play well together.”

Spearheading the Indians, who went 10-9 overall and 5-3 in the Pacific League with an opening-round setback in the CIF Southern Section playoffs a season ago, is senior utility Gwendolyn Turla.

Senior Gwendolyn Turla led the Indians in scoring with 67 goals. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

An offensive threat every time Turla had the ball in her hands, she tallied a team-high 67 goals and averaged 3.5 goals per game, with 22 steals and 12 assists.

Four seniors join Turla, who had 140 shots on goal, and they include attacker Cameron Flores, attacker Alice Martinez, setter Bianca Sanchez and attacker Andrea Silva.

Ten juniors will be asked to contribute offensively and play defense and they are attacker Amy Berberyan, attacker Leann Bermudez, attacker Samantha Leano, attacker Madeline Lingad, attacker Brianna Meneses, utility Aleah Orozco, attacker Camilla Panoza, attacker Isabel Rosado, attacker Katie Vlick, goalie Isabella Erickson, and Emmanuella Nathan, a sophomore, will play goalie.

The Indians are 0-1 this season after losing to San Marino 9-8 in the Burbank Tournament and will launch their league campaign on Jan. 9 when they host Crescenta Valley and will visit archrival Burbank on Jan. 16.

Burbank coach Allyson Young also thinks the Bulldogs will have a successful campaign.

Burroughs will face host Burbank on Jan. 16. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I expect to have a better season than last season because I have a lot of returners,” said Young, whose team went 6-18 overall and didn’t make the playoffs after finishing fifth in the league.

Young will have six returners and they include senior driver Sune Aghakian, who tossed in a team-best 49 goals and senior utility Lexi Lyneis, who had 38 tallies.

The others are senior driver Tara Goodwin, junior utility Patil Minassian, junior driver Camila Salas and junior driver Michelle Morlock.

Young said that she is counting on this group of veterans to help the other players who have less experience.

“I think they can be good leaders because they understand what it takes to play on the varsity level,” Young said.

The Bulldogs, who are 3-1 after defeating host La Salle 16-3, losing to host San Marino 6-5, then knocking off Louisville 9-7 and Torrance 8-3 in the Burbank Tournament, commence league play on Jan. 9 against Pasadena.

The remainder of the squad includes senior driver Valentina Abadjian, senior driver Angelica Perez, senior driver Melissa De La Cruz, junior goalie Suzie Misiryan, sophomore driver Sera Saahbazian, sophomore driver Sophia Brice and sophomore driver Michelle Mirzoyan.