During his team’s CIF Southern Section playoff match against Thousand
Oaks High, Burroughs boys’ soccer Couch Mike Kodama could have used
some duct tape and bailing wire to hold his squad together.
Plagued by injury and illness, Kodama was forced to piece together
a team for a Division II opening-round playoff match in Ventura.
Although the Indians held tight in the first half Saturday, the
Lancers’ strength wore down the visitors in the second half, as they
came away with a 3-0 victory at California Lutheran University.
“Through everything, our guys never gave up,” said Kodama, whose
team ends the season 12-10-2. .”
Burroughs’ woes began before the contest with Thousand Oaks
Just prior to match-time, it was determined starting goalkeeper
Kevin Cadenas was too hobbled to play. The freshman injured his right
knee in the regular-season finale Feb. 13 against Canyon.
In his place, Kodama had to move senior Jason Salazar from his
defender to play goalkeeper. Senior Alex Aguilar was also moved from
the midfield to play sweeper.
Under constant pressure, Salazar played well, making seven saves.
The Indians also didn’t have the services of senior starting
defender Matt Welch for the entire match. Sick with possible food
poisoning, Welch gave a valiant effort, as he started the contest.
However, 20 minutes in, he was so ill that he had to be taken out.
“As sick as he was, Matt could have just sat out the rest of the
game and no one would have faulted him for that,” Kodama said. “But
with 20 minutes left, he came up to me and said ‘Coach, please let me
go back in and play.’
“For your captain to do something like that is really special.
Matt showed me a lot of courage by doing that.”
Even with its depleted staff, Burroughs was able to hold its own
in the first half against the Lancers. The only goal Thousand Oaks
could muster just one goal.