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Burroughs has tough time in own tourney

Jeff Tully

It’s been seven years since the Burroughs High boys’ soccer team

played for the championship of its own 12th annual Ralph

Brandt/Burroughs Tournament.

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And after the Indians’ performance in the opening rounds of the

event last week, they are going to have to wait another year to get

the opportunity to play for the tourney title.

Saturday, Burroughs was knocked out of championship contention

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with a 1-0 pool-play loss to Oxnard Rio Mesa at Occidental College.

Indian Coach Mike Kodama said he realized coming into the event

his young squad might have a problem with a field that includes

top-notch teams.

“We are young and we know it,” said Kodama, whose team is 0-2-1.

“We expected to be playing against some very good teams, and this

tournament includes some very good teams.

“But playing against a good team like Rio Mesa, and losing by only

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one goal, is only going to make us better.”

The last time the host Indians played in the championship match of

their own tournament was in 1996. Led by Brian Criscuolo, Miguel

Meneses, Robbie Honicky and Gary Guenther, the Indians defeated

Foothill League foe Saugus, 1-0.

The winning goal was scored in the 51st minute by Meneses on an

assist from Claudio Navarette. Meneses is now a co-coach for the

Burroughs girls’ soccer team.

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The only other time the Indians played in the tourney title match

was in 1992 -- the tournament’s first year -- when they lost to

Arcadia in overtime, 1-0.

“The tournament continues to grow,” Kodama said. “We have a long

waiting list of teams that want to join the tournament for next year.

We are even thinking of expanding it next year.”

Placing second in its pool, Burroughs is relegated to the

runner-up bracket. At 4:30 p.m. Friday, the Indians will take on

Woodland Hills Taft at Memorial Field.

Against Rio Mesa (4-0), the Indians began the match shaky, and the

Spartans took advantage to score the contest’s only goal on a

defensive breakdown.

Spartan Jose Martinez got behind the Indian defense and gave a

nice pass to teammate Andres Caballero, who beat Burroughs goalkeeper

Kevin Cadenas for the score.

“We were playing [Saturday] without a group of our best players,”

said Rio Mesa Coach Brandon Fuche, whose team posted a 7-1 pool-play

win against Granada Hills earlier in the day. “Some of our players

are working and some are taking the [Scholastic Achievement Test].

“So that forced us to bring up five [junior varsity players]. And

they really came through, as two of the JV players scored three of

our goals against Granada Hills.”

Indian Marco Gomez had a few scoring opportunities in the second

half, but he couldn’t convert them.

Burbank High also failed to make it to the championship round, as

two losses dropped the Bulldogs into the consolation round.

The Bulldogs fell to Agoura, 2-0, Friday and lost to Woodland

Hills El Camino Real, 5-1, on Friday.

Burbank will play at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday against South Pasadena

at Friedman Field at St. Francis High.


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