Things got a lot more difficult in the quest for the Burroughs High girls’ soccer team to win a second Pacific League championship in a row.
The Indians received a double whammy, losing a key player to injury and suffering a defeat to a squad they are chasing.
Burroughs took a big hit after it suffered a 2-0 league road defeat to first-place Arcadia on Tuesday.
Though it is mathematically alive to possibly win the league crown, Burroughs will need to win its remaining three games and get help from opponents facing Arcadia and Crescenta Valley.
Burroughs dipped to 11-5-2, 7-3-1 in league for 22 points. Arcadia improved to 13-2-4, 10-0-1 in league for 31 points. Crescenta Valley has 8-0-3 (27 points) after it registered a 5-1 road win against Glendale on Tuesday.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Burroughs coach Brady Riggs, who led the Indians to a league title last season for the first time since 1993. “We just haven’t been taking care of business and we’ve had some injuries.
“Arcadia, in my opinion, is the best team in the league and Crescenta Valley is very good, too. Arcadia controlled the balance of play today and that made it hard for us to get going.”
Arcadia received one goal in each half Tuesday to complete the two-match season series sweep against Burroughs. The Apaches beat the Indians, 1-0, on Jan. 7 at Memorial Field.
In addition, Burroughs, ranked ninth in CIF Southern Section Division IV, lost standout junior midfielder Lily Gonzalez to a right-ankle injury late in the first half. Gonzalez, the league’s reigning co-most valuable player, had to be assisted off the field and had an ice pack applied to her ankle for the remainder of the contest.
Arcadia, No. 6 in Division IV, opened the scoring when Avery Bogue headed in a corner kick by Bertha Guzman in the 26th minute.
“We did what we needed to in getting a goal and then continuing to press them,” Arcadia coach Ryen Piszyk said. “We didn’t want Burroughs to run at us because their strength is when they have possession of the ball.
“It’s nice to be where we are and we know what we need to do in order to win league.”
Arcadia sealed the win on a penalty shot in the 67th minute.
A Burroughs defender fouled Guzman inside the box, before Teresa Rosas beat Burroughs goalkeeper Kaylin Casper on a low shot inside the right post.
Arcadia limited Burroughs to two shots on goal.
Gonzalez launched a direct kick from about 35 yards that was stopped by Arcadia goalkeeper Emme Chen in the 12th minute.
“It’s a tough loss,” said Casper, who finished with six saves. “On the first goal, it was hard to see the ball in the air. I saw it at the last second, but it was too late.
“When you play teams like Arcadia and Crescenta Valley, it can be stressful. You just have to be mentally prepared and focused at all times.”