The Esperanza High School boys' soccer team, undefeated in 50 consecutive games spanning two seasons, plays Burbank tonight at 8 in the Southern Section 3-A soccer final at Gahr High School.
The Aztecs (24-0-2), the top-seeded team in the 3-A division, have set a Southern Section record for shutouts this season with 21. Esperanza has outscored its opponents, 91-6.
On defense, the Aztecs are led by juniors Luis Cabral and Brian Aube and seniors Keith Barnes and Tony Hernandez.
Junior Brent Bish leads Esperanza in scoring with 25 goals. In the Aztecs' 4-1 semifinal win over Lompoc, Bish was double-teamed and held scoreless. But Lompoc's strategy ultimately backfired as Eric Quigley scored three goals.
John Coppage, Esperanza coach, hasn't scouted Burbank. But the fact that Burbank has given up five goals in its last two games--both won on penalty kicks--has Coppage encouraged.
"I think it will be a fairly low-scoring game," he said. "But they've given up a few goals in the past two games. We have a lot of fast guys on the outside. I think we'll be able to score on them."
Brea-Olinda (17-2-4) plays Central tonight at 6 in the 2-A final at Gahr.
The Wildcats, the top-seeded team in the 2-A division, beat Monrovia, 2-1, in overtime in their semifinal game. Ken Claborn scored his only goal of the playoffs in the first overtime to give Brea the win. Central beat La Salle, 2-1, in its semifinal game.