It’s been seven years since the Burroughs High boys’ soccer team
played for the championship of its own 12th annual Ralph
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
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
“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
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.
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
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.