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Jeff Tully For the Burbank High boys’...

Jeff Tully

For the Burbank High boys’ soccer team and first-year Coach

Michael Bailie, the Foothill League has proved to a rocky road this



After posting a 7-4-3 nonleague record, the Bulldogs hit the skids

in league competition, losing their first six matches.

One of the biggest problems Burbank has had in league is scoring

goals. In its six losing matches, the team tallied just two goals,


while allowing their opponents 23.

Tuesday, in a match against Valencia, the bad news for the

Bulldogs is they failed to score a goal. However, they also kept the

Vikings from scoring in a 0-0 tie at Burbank.

In their first meeting Jan. 10 at Valencia, the Vikings (6-7-4,

1-3-3) posted a 6-1 victory.

“The fact [Valencia] scored six goals on us the last time we

played and they didn’t get any this time is an accomplishment for


us,” Bailie said. “This is something to build on.

“We have had a rough time in league. We realize that we are young

and we’re going to take our lumps. I think we have something like

only three seniors on the team. The rest of the team is mostly


The Vikings haven’t actually been tearing in up offensively in

league either, as it has scored 11 goals and allowed 11 in seven



Barring a total collapse by the top teams in league -- and with

just three contests remaining -- the Bulldogs (7-10-4, 0-6-1) will

not qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs. The team made the

postseason in 2001 and missed the playoffs last season.

Prior to Tuesday, Burbank’s best performance in league came Jan.

24 when it played well and lost to cross-town rival Burroughs, 2-1,

at Luther Burbank Middle School.

The Bulldogs also played well against Valencia, and received a few

breaks that allowed them to come away with a tie.

Not only did the Vikings miss a penalty kick nine minutes into the

match, they also hit the goalpost three times.

If that wasn’t enough, Burbank also had to play the final 24

minutes a player short, after its best offensive threat -- Jeff Ruiz

-- drew a red card in the 56th minute.

“For them to miss a penalty kick and for us to get a red card, and

we come away with a tie, I’ll take that,” Bailie said.

“Often after a red card, teams will give up and that really

affects them. But we kept playing hard and I give my guys a lot of

credit for that.”

Burbank controlled the ball for much of the early going in the

second half, as it received fine play from Ruiz, Ricky Flores,

Eriberto Cosio and James Hadley.

Bulldog goalkeeper Rigo Maya also did his part, making seven saves

to help stifle the Valencia onslaught.

Burbank’s best chance to score came in the 22nd minute. On a

corner kick by Cosio, the offering went on the fly to the front of

the goal and a waiting Flores, who headed the ball. But the shot hit

the crossbar and bounced out.