In order for the Burroughs High girls’ soccer team to win a second straight Pacific League championship, some catching up in the standings will be required.
Burroughs figured to be one of the favorites to contend for a league crown this season, along with Arcadia and Crescenta Valley.
Host Burroughs and Arcadia met Tuesday in the first of two head-to-head matchups with first place at stake.
While Burroughs generated numerous scoring opportunities, Arcadia cashed in on one of its chances early in the second half to register a 1-0 win at Memorial Field.
Audtry Stephenson scored on a goal-mouth scramble in the 37th minute to account for the game’s lone goal.
Arcadia improved to 8-2-3, 5-0 in league for 15 points, while Burroughs, which won a league title last season for the first time since 1993, fell to 7-3-2, 3-1-1 for 10 points. The Indians and Apaches will meet again Jan. 28 at Arcadia.
“One mistake hurt us,” Burroughs coach Brady Riggs said. “It’s been 50-50 play between the teams lately [in games] and it was one of those games again.
“We’re not dead yet [in trying to win league] and we just have to take care of business. We had our chances and we were a little off target. We’re behind the eight-ball, but we get another shot.”
Burroughs and Arcadia, which finished third in league last season after Crescenta Valley took second, swapped a few golden scoring chances in the first half, which was played at a feverish pace with end-to-end action.
Bertha Guzman launched a shot just over the crossbar in the first minute before Burroughs’ Lily Gonzalez had a shot go just wide of the right post about two minutes later.
Arcadia got on the board when Stephenson got to a loose ball off a pass from Teresa Rosas and beat Burroughs goalkeeper Kaylin Casper (three saves) up close.
“You have to get there and do it on a goal like that,” Arcadia coach Ryen Piszyk said. “We had to stay patient and try to score and we got what we needed.
“It’s a hard place to play and it’s a big win for our team. Brady is a great coach and he gets the most out of his players. It’s amazing.”
Burroughs had several good scoring opportunities in the last 15 minutes of the second half.
Arcadia goalkeeper Emme Chen, who finished with eight saves, made a diving stop on a shot inside the box by Gonzalez in the 66th minute.
Lauryn Bailey of Burroughs curved a shot wide of the left post in the 71st minute and Gonzalez lined a shot over the crossbar with about two minutes to go.
“We knew Arcadia would be one of our top challenges,” Bailey said. “We knew the game would be hard.
“We are in the same position that we were last year and we came back and won.”
Burroughs, ranked No. 5 in CIF Southern Section Division IV, will take on cross-town rival Burbank on Friday.