Coming into Pacific League competition, the Crescenta Valley High and Burroughs girls’ water polo teams were among the favorites to contend for the league title.
Crescenta Valley has been the face of the league for years having won 10 straight league championships. However, upstart Burroughs has plans to derail Crescenta Valley’s run of dominance.
Crescenta Valley and Burroughs met Thursday in a key match with both squads unbeaten in league.
Host Crescenta Valley turned to its experience and a balanced scoring attack, getting two goals apiece from five players en route to a 10-4 home victory against Burroughs.
“We knew coming in that Burroughs was a very good team and has a good goalkeeper,” Crescenta Valley senior driver Lexie Kawachi said. “It’s a very big game and we had to win it. We had to do it in a big way and that came by having a lot of people involved.
“It’s really important when you can have a lot of different people score goals and contribute in other ways. It gives us more options.”
Kawachi, Hanna Ziccardi, Katie Ward, Hana Mehai and AJ Troop each had two goals for Crescenta Valley (8-7, 4-0 in league).
The Falcons scored the final four goals of the match to pull away from the Indians (14-5, 2-1).
“We’ve pretty much been a second-half team this year,” Crescenta Valley first-year coach Amber Dien said. “They know how to line things up and go from there.
“It’s good to see people involved and it helps control our offense. We came in knowing we have a good group of seniors and the younger players have stepped it up.”
Crescenta Valley took a 4-2 lead on a goal by Ward with 4:23 remaining in the second quarter.
Burroughs, ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section Division V, closed to within 4-3 when Nancy Baylor scored with 1:35 remaining in the first half.
The Indians could get no closer than 6-4 on a goal from Clarissa Robles with 2:58 to go in the third quarter.
Nehai wrapped up the third-quarter scoring, giving the Falcons a 7-4 advantage with 1:58 left.
Troop, Kawachi and Ziccardi each scored one goal in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. The three goals came in a two-minute span.
“A couple of things on offense didn’t work,” said Burroughs coach Jacob Cook, who got a goal from Bella Mucha. “Our shots just weren’t going in.
“We played pretty well in the first quarter, but it just wasn’t a good day. I’d like to see Crescenta Valley again in the league tournament and in a bigger pool.”
Crescenta Valley goalkeeper Rebekah Nicola and Burroughs goalkeeper Emma Nathan had six saves apiece.