BURBANK — The Burbank High and Burroughs girls' soccer teams entered their Pacific League contest with a sense of security.
The security came with knowing that both squads had already secured spots in the CIF Southern Section playoffs. However, there was much more at stake for the Bulldogs, who could lock down a second-place league finish with a win over their cross-town rivals.
Earning that victory was never in question, as Burbank scored early and never let Burroughs mount any semblance of an offensive attack. As a result, the Bulldogs rolled to a 3-1 win at home.
The Bulldogs (12-4-3, 10-3-1 in league for 31 points) came into the contest with 28 points and were just two points ahead of Crescenta Valley (8-4-2 in league for 26 points) for the second spot in league. Even with a loss, Burbank would have finished second as a result of the Falcons' 2-0 loss Thursday to Arcadia, which secured the league title by going 14-0.
"It's very important to get that second spot in league," Burbank Coach Eric Montoya said. "With Arcadia winning the league championship, we wanted to be able to finish in second place. Hopefully by doing that maybe we can get a home game for the playoffs.
"I was happy with the way that we played today. They came out and did the job for us."
The runner-up finish is the highest placement for Burbank in the Pacific League since 2010, when it also placed second behind Crescenta Valley by one point.
Although Burroughs (8-10-2, 7-5-2) has suffered its share of injuries during the second half of league which has forced the team to struggle, the Indians finished the league campaign as the league's fourth-place team, earning a spot in the postseason.
Against Burbank, the Indians were just never in the game, as they were held without a shot in the first half.
"We have had our problems with injuries this season and that has really hampered us," Burroughs Coach Brady Riggs said. "We didn't play that well in the first half. But I thought we came back and played a lot better in that second half. We put in some players who were hungry to play and they did a good job."
The Bulldogs received a fine effort from senior Clarissa Guerrero, who tallied two goals and an assist.
It was Guerrero who was able get things started for Burbank in just the second minute. On a corner kick by Dakota Briseno, the senior delivered a perfect ball to the front of the goal where Guerrero was waiting and she promptly headed the ball in to put the Bulldogs in front, 1-0.
In the 28th minute, Guerrero fed a nice pass to freshman Hailey Heath, who moved through traffic and beat Burroughs goalkeeper Taylor Bailey low and to her left.
Guerrero struck again in the 38th minute, notching a goal on a rebound after consecutive goals from Heath and Yvette Niwa.
"We knew how important this game was and we wanted to come back and win because they beat us the first time," said Guerrero, whose team lost to the Indians, 1-0, Jan. 24.
"We played really good defense. But that all starts with our midfield, because our players there get to the balls and stop the other team."
With a 3-0 disadvantage at the half, the Indians finally got on the board in the second half. In the 66th minute, Noelle Garcia beat Burbank goalkeeper Allison Tiegs on a free kick from 25 yards out.