BURBANK — Two hat tricks went a long way for the Burroughs High girls’ soccer team in its quest to win a Pacific League championship for the first time this century.
Backed by sophomores Lily Gonzalez and Lauryn Bailey, the Indians appear to be in a good position to chase down that goal.
Gonzalez and Bailey scored three goals each Friday to lift host Burroughs to a convincing 6-1 league win against Pasadena at Memorial Field.
Burroughs (13-3-2, 10-1-1 in league for 31 points) and Crescenta Valley are tied for first with two matches left for each team. Crescenta Valley registered a 5-0 league road win against Muir on Friday. Arcadia, the defending league champion, came into its contest with Glendale on Friday tied for first with Burroughs and Crescenta Valley before suffering a 1-0 defeat.
Burroughs has league home matches against Arcadia on Tuesday and crosstown rival Burbank on Thursday. Crescenta Valley will be at home versus Glendale on Tuesday and at Arcadia on Thursday. Burroughs finished 1-0-1 against Crescenta Valley this season.
“It’s been a bit nerve-wracking,” said Burroughs sixth-year coach Brady Riggs, whose team finished second last season. “Coaches are paid to be paranoid and worry and you just don’t want to assume you’ll win.
“Once we got a couple of goals early today, we could relax a bit and carry on with what we needed to do. It’s exciting to be in first and now we have to be ready for Arcadia.”
Gonzalez scored two goals in the first five minutes to help Burroughs pull away from Pasadena (7-7-3, 5-5-2).
Gonzalez made it 1-0 in the second minute off an assist from Bailey.
Gonzalez extended the Burroughs lead to 2-0 following a pass from Olivia Cashman in the fifth minute.
“I think it was big to be able to score a couple of goals early,” Gonzalez said. “It’s very exciting right now to be in first place.
“It makes you want to work twice as hard.”
Pasadena trimmed the lead to 2-1 when Lily Cimino intercepted a throw-in and came down the field and scored in the 28th minute.
Bailey gave the Indians a 3-1 lead in the 35th minute. Bailey knocked in a rebound off a shot by Gonzalez following a free kick by Samantha Valencia that was partially stopped by Pasadena goalkeeper Jesua Garcia.
Bailey converted a penalty shot in the 49th minute after a Pasadena defender tripped Megan Schmidt inside the box.
Gonzalez scored off an assist from Bailey in the 52nd minute to make it 5-1.
Bailey closed out the scoring in the 59th minute to help Burroughs complete a two-match season sweep of Pasadena.
“It’s fun when you can score some goals early in the game and half,” Bailey said. “It’s definitely great to play with Lily because the we always seem to know where the other person will be.”
Riggs said the Indians have played well since topping the Bulldogs on Jan. 12.
“The first time we played Pasadena, I thought that was our best game we played,” Riggs said. “We’ve had so much momentum since that game.