For the first quarter of their CIF Southern Section Division III
playoff match, Burbank and Whittier La Serna highs looked like two
evenly matched boys’ water polo teams.
However, after the opening quarter, the host Lancers stepped up
their defense and the Bulldogs couldn’t keep up Thursday, as Burbank
fell, 15-3, to end its season.
The Bulldogs (14-9) received a harsh welcome to the playoffs, its
second straight trip to the postseason. It is also the team’s second
consecutive loss in the first round, as Burbank was defeated by Santa
Monica, 10-8, last season.
Burbank’s 2002 playoff appearance was its first in more than a
“Although we lost in the first round, we are happy with our
season,” Burbank Coach Andre Setaghian said. “We have been able to
accomplish a lot this season, and these players have a lot to be
One of the accomplishments is the Bulldogs’ continued rise in the
Almont League. The team finished second behind Montebello, after
placing third in 2002. Burbank was the fourth-place team in the
league three seasons ago.
And the program has been able to improve the past three years
without a home pool, which is expected to be finished by the 2004
school year. The Bulldogs have been without a pool since 1994, when
the facility was damaged by the Northridge earthquake.
“We are trying to build up a team and bring pride to this
program,” Setaghian said. “We want to keep this going. And just wait
until we get our pool, we will be even better.”
Setaghian and his team was able to stay with La Serna (21-8)
throughout the first quarter, as the Lancers held a 1-0 advantage.
But in the second quarter, the La Serna defense clamped down and
hounded the Bulldog shooters, who were forced to take most of their
shots from the outside.
The Lancers also received a fine effort from goalkeeper Josh
Sheek, who made five of his 11 saves in the first half.
“Josh is the key to our entire offense,” said La Serna Coach Tommy
Anderson, whose team won the Del Rio League championship.
“The rest of the team is able to play with more confidence, and
they have the security of knowing they have someone like Josh playing
With their defense clicking, the Lancers shooters did their part,
as the team shutout the Bulldogs, 5-0, in the second quarter.
The La Serna defense corralled the Bulldogs and didn’t allow them
any close shots through much of the first three quarters.
Burbank’s Art Zagaryan was finally able to get a shot off close to
the Lancers’ net with 3:57 remaining in the third quarter, but his
effort went wide left.
Zagaryan came back 24 seconds later to tally Burbank’s first goal.
However, by them, the Bulldogs already trailed, 7-1.
Zagaryan scored a second goal with 44 seconds left in the third
The Lancers had seven players score, with Ryan Goetz leading the
way with four goals.
One bright spot for the Bulldogs was the play of goalkeeper Nate
Taylor. Taylor made nine saves, many of the from at point-blank
“I can’t say enough about Nate,” Setaghian said. “I am so happy to
have had him as a player.”