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.