LA CRESCENTA — The play was physical, the match was contentious and tempers flared time and time again.
Friday afternoon’s Pacific League boys’ soccer contest pitting host Crescenta Valley and Burroughs high’s featured physical play that resulted in three red cards and five yellow cards.
Things got so so chippy that the head referee called both coaches out to midfield at halftime for a discussion.
Burroughs lost its goalkeeper to a red card 10 minutes into the game and had to play a man down the rest of the contest. Crescenta Valley took advantage, earning a 4-0 victory against the visiting Indians.
“Personally, I would like to never have to see a game like that again,” Crescenta Valley coach Grant Clark said. “We can play aggressively if that’s what the game calls for. It’s not my favorite style of soccer and I wish we didn’t have to play that way.
“But that early red card on their goalie, whether it was warranted or not, I didn’t have the angle, changed the game. Burroughs ramped it up and our boys responded.”
The win keeps the Falcons (10-4-1, 5-0-1 in league for 16 points) tied for first place in league with Arcadia (5-0-1 for 16 points), which defeated Hoover on Friday, 3-2. Burroughs, the defending league champion, slips to 9-6-1, 3-2-1 for 10 points and third place.
Before the red and yellow card cavalcade, Crescenta Valley took an early 1-0 lead in the third minute on a goal by senior Tomik Baghramian.
In the 10th minute, Burroughs starting goalkeeper Sebastian Kalemkarian came out to block a shot by Falcon Ayden Blackwood. But he was called for a red card and ejected from the game because the official ruled he had handled the ball out of the box.
“I was out when I went up to get it, but when I came down I was in the box,” Kalemkarian said.
That left the Indians a player down for the final 70 minutes.
Despite being shorthanded, Burroughs held Crescenta Valley in check and didn’t allow a goal the remainder of the first half, as the Falcons went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
“We are young and really that early red card was the biggest play of the entire game,” said Burroughs coach Mike Kodama, whose team earned a 2-0 win against Glendale on Thursday. “It was physical and we just have to learn how to deal with the kind of physical play.
“And I think along with the two red cards, the playing a second game in two days took its toll on us. You could see it in the second half, our legs were starting to go.”
In the second half, Burroughs senior William Rosales was red-carded after receiving his second yellow card in the 64th minute. Blackwood was ousted in the 61st minute after his second yellow card prompted a red.
The Falcons received a goal by Dallas Kaauwai off an assist from Baghramian in the 49th minute and Ryan Sanfillippo scored off an assist from Kyle Quesada in the 68th minute for a 3-0 lead. Talon Carvalho also scored on a penalty shot in the 78th minute.
“[Burroughs] won league over us last year and they took the title away from us,” said Baghramian, whose Falcons placed second a season ago. “So we just wanted to play a good game and give everything that we had.”