BURROUGHS HIGH — The Burroughs High and Burbank girls' water polo teams were untested in their respective Pacific League openers Tuesday. The results were two lopsided victories.
The Indians and Bulldogs braced for a bigger challenge when the squads met Thursday in their annual rivalry showdown.
Burroughs overcame a sluggish start and began to dominate after the first five minutes. The Indians built a lead and goalkeeper Ahsha Earwood kept the Bulldogs from mounting any kind of a comeback in securing a 10-4 victory at Burroughs.
The win keeps the Indians (9-7, 2-0 in league) unbeaten in league, while the Bulldogs (7-5, 1-1) suffered their first loss.
The Indians overcame a 1-1 tie to score nine straight.
“We were really pumped up for this game, it being against Burbank and all,” said Burroughs’ Kailee Holgate, who had two goals. “Today we were able to step it up on offense, something that we haven’t been doing a lot.”
The Burroughs defense also came up with a solid effort, allowing the Bulldogs just two goals through three quarters. That effort was led by Earwood, a senior All-CIF keeper who kept Burbank off-balance with an aggressive style. She finished with 15 saves.
When Burbank didn’t have success scoring in the first three quarters against Earwood, it resorted to taking the majority of its shots from the outside, many of which were desperation attempts.
“Not to be cocky or anything, but it’s nearly impossible to score on Ahsha from the outside,” Burroughs Coach Danny Garcia said. “She is so good that it frustrates the players who are going against her, so they end up taking wild shots.”
Burbank Coach Kristina Garcia agreed that Earwood is a definite force in the cage. However, she said her team made things easy on the senior keeper.
“We know Burroughs is a dirty team,” she said. “All Burroughs does is they hold on and hang on to you. So my girls, and every other team, know that all you have to do against them is drive on them and you get the ejection. But we weren’t doing that early on. Finally, when they got it into their heads that’s what we needed to do we started playing better and scoring.”
Burroughs received four goals from Emilee Holgate and two from Bailey Simmons.
Simmons started off the scoring with a goal in the first quarter at the 4:56 mark. But Burbank came right back, with Giuliana Vitagliano scoring with 4:32 left.
Burroughs added two additional goals in the first.
The Indians created separation in the second quarter, outscoring Burbank, 6-0, to take a 9-1 advantage into halftime.
The teams traded goals in the third quarter, as the Indians went into the final stanza up, 10-2. The Bulldogs scored the only two goals of the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs were paced by Ryan Bettencourt, who had two goals. The other goal was tallied by Abby Glaessner.