The Burroughs High boys’ soccer team can thank its defense for helping it advance to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.
The defense and goalkeeping held off a number of challenges by visiting Ventura in a 1-0 victory Thursday at Memorial Field.
The effort was particularly impressive because the Indians played without injured junior center back Carter Wells, who has held the defense together the last two seasons. Wells suffered a leg injury late in the regular season against Hoover and his status for the rest of the playoffs is unknown.
“Carter is a strong player, one of our main guys. But he’s injured so we have to adapt to a new way of playing,” Burroughs goalie Alfredo Tejada said.
Burroughs moves on to the second round of the playoffs Saturday when the Indians will host West Torrance High.
Tejada came up big in the fifth minute with a sliding foot save.
He also denied Ventura’s Daniel Gutierrez in the 11th minute by saving his header.
But it was his save in the 23rd minute that was most impressive as Gutierrez nearly put a bouncing ball from outside the goal box into the left corner.
“That was a good shot. I just kept my position and dove and got there,” Tejada said.
The Indians (15-4-4) scored the lone goal of the game via a set piece, as sophomore Manny Gonzalez was able to flick a header past Ventura goalie Jason Lowell. It was his 18th goal of the season 34th of his career.
“A shout out to Esteban (Alcantar),” Gonzalez said. “He always looks for me at the end and I was open.”
Defender Abihud Munoz, who teamed with Luis Cortes and Manny Pascual, who replaced Wells, spoke of the situation.
“Since Carter has been gone it has been difficult, but we have practiced very hard as a team in the back,” Munoz said.