BURBANK HIGH — The Burbank High and La Cañada girls' water polo teams will take part in their share of matches later this week in the second annual Burbank Tournament.
Both of the team's coaches agree that getting in as many contests as possible prior to their respective league campaigns can only be beneficial.
However, before the tournament, which begins Thursday at Burbank High, the Bulldogs and Spartans got together for a nonleague match Tuesday.
Behind a nine-goal performance by Burbank senior Jordan Card, the Bulldogs were able to breeze to a 15-5 victory against visiting La Cañada.
The Bulldogs (5-1) received a strong performance from their defense, which held the Spartans (0-3) to just one goal in the first half.
"Our defense is playing well right now," Burbank Coach Carlos Pelayo said. "But that's the way it usually is; the defense is always ahead of the offense at this point. There are still some little things that we have to work out before we start our league."
With a relatively inexperienced squad, first-year Spartan Coach Josh Moser said he realizes it is going to take some time for his players to get up to speed.
"There is just about a month left until we start our league," he said. "We are hoping that we will be able to improve by then. Playing in the tournament this week will help us, because there are some things that you only learn in game situations."
Card helped the Bulldogs get off to a fast start Tuesday. She scored five of the team's six goals in the first quarter, including notching three in a span of 59 seconds. The effort allowed Burbank to jump to a 6-0 lead.
Janna Ayvazyan tallied three goals and Natalie Pentkowski, Nichole Valencia and Gabi Rodriguez had a goal each.
The Spartans finally got on the board with 2:24 left in the second quarter when Rita Neat found the back of the cage.
Katherine Franklin, Stephanie Whitham, Masha Karolina and Reona Akiyama scored for La Cañada.
With Card and many of the Burbank starters seeing limited play in the second half, the Bulldogs outscored the Spartans, 4-2, in the third quarter to take a 14-3 advantage.
The Spartans did outscore the Bulldogs, 2-1, in the fourth quarter.
"It was nice because we were able to get some of our bench some playing time," said Pelayo, whose team placed third in the El Rancho Tournament Saturday.