BURBANK — There’s quite a battle at hand involving three girls’ soccer teams for second place in the Pacific League.
With undefeated Arcadia High on the verge of sewing up the league championship, its left Burbank, Crescenta Valley and Burroughs scrambling for second place with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season. Burbank and Crescenta Valley met for the second time this season Wednesday, with both looking for a windfall.
Burbank received a goal from Clarissa Guerrero with about 13 minutes remaining to post a 2-1 home victory against Crescenta Valley.
Burbank, which entered the match in fourth place, improved to 9-4-3, 7-3-1 in league for 22 points and moved into a tie for second place with Crescenta Valley (7-8-1, 7-3-1). Burroughs suffered a 1-0 defeat against Pasadena on Wednesday to drop into fourth place (6-3-3 for 20 points). All three teams have three regular-season matches remaining. The top four teams in league automatically qualify for the playoffs.
For Guerrero, a senior forward, it was her biggest goal of the season and helped the Bulldogs improve to 1-0-1 against the Falcons on the campaign.
“This was such an important game and we don’t want to finish in fourth place,” said Guerrero, who scored on a partial breakaway off a pass from Dakota Briseno. “We wanted to come out determined, knowing this game could change things up [in the standings].”
Burbank and Crescenta Valley played to a scoreless tie Jan. 15 at Crescenta Valley. On Wednesday, Burbank never trailed against the Falcons.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 1-0 lead on a goal in the 24th minute by Emma Dixon off an assist from Lauren Brenn.
Crescenta Valley knotted it at 1 when a looping shot by Grace Keller landed just underneath the crossbar in the 37th minute.
After both teams had a couple of good scoring chances early in the second half, Guerrero sealed the victory by bouncing a shot into the left corner of the net.
“Clarissa, I think, is by far the best player in the league right now,” Burbank Coach Eric Montoya said. “She’s definitely playing her best soccer of the season right now and we look for her to always do some big things.
“We like where we are and we’ll see how things turn out the rest of the way in league.”
Crescenta Valley Coach Jordan Schulz said the Falcons will look to regroup.
“You never want to have to rely on other teams to get us help,” Schulz said. “We had to win today and we didn’t.
“We could have held on to second with a win. Burbank and Burroughs now have a better chance [at second place] and we still have to play Arcadia one more time. We have to be ready for our next game.”