BURBANK — Emily McHorney has flourished wherever she’s played for the Burroughs High girls’ soccer team.
It’s a big reason why the Indians finished second in the Pacific League and qualified for the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs.
McHorney and the Indians began the playoffs Tuesday on the right note, as she scored a first-half goal to propel Burroughs to a 1-0 wild-card win versus Brentwood at Memorial Field.
“Emily is so strong and fast and we could put her anywhere and we know she’ll do the right thing,” Burroughs coach Brady Riggs said. “It’s a testament to the way she plays the game. Very smart. She came through with a nice goal.”
Burroughs (15-2-3) won a postseason match for the first time since 2009 and will travel to face Santa Ynez (16-1-1) in a first-round match at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Burroughs received seven saves from goalkeeper Samantha Martinez, including three in the second half while looking into the late-afternoon sun.
“We beat a very good team that’s got a lot of playoff tradition,” Riggs said. “That’s a tough opponent and they are very classy. It was a good overall match.”
McHorney, a junior, scored in the second minute. Lauryn Bailey got to a loose ball and made a nifty pass to McHorney, who lined a shot past Brentwood goalkeeper Mia Berman (nine saves).
“Lauryn gave me a great pass and I got off a good shot,” McHorney said. “I knew I had to do something quickly.
“It’s a game that can go either way and we got a lot done in winning. We’ve done a good job playing our game and I think that’s because we are a lot more comfortable. We just want to keep it going.”
Burroughs and Brentwood (9-6-5) exchanged quality scoring opportunities in the second half.
Abbie Riggs had two shots just go wide about three minutes apart early in the half.
Brentwood, which took fourth in the Gold Coast League, had two chances by Ava Deconcini late in the match. Martinez stopped Deconcini inside the box in the 64th minute and Deconcini headed a ball off the crossbar with about 12 minutes remaining.
“It’s unpleasant having to look into the sun like that,” Brady Riggs said. “Samantha came up big on some shots and we got very good defensive efforts from Lali Aguilar and Anna Kasper.”
Burroughs will embark on what’s likely to be a three-hour trip north to Santa Ynez.
“It’s going to be a long bus ride, but we have something to play for,” Brady Riggs said. “We’ll just look to keep doing the things that have made us successful throughout the season. We’ll be ready to go.”