LUTHER BURBANK MIDDLE SCHOOL — The Burroughs High and Glendale boys' soccer teams took part in a battle for second place in the Pacific League on Tuesday.
More importantly, the Indians and Nitros were trying to gain an all-important win to stay within striking distance of league-leading Crescenta Valley, which came into its Tuesday match with Muir with a four-point cushion.
Burroughs definitely looked like the more motivated team, as the Indians turned up the pressure early — building up a three-goal lead in the first half — to earn a resounding 6-0 victory against the visiting Nitros at Luther Burbank Middle School.
It was the first loss of the season for Glendale (8-1-7, 5-1-5 in league), which came into the contest unbeaten in its previous 15 matches.
It was an important win for Burroughs (9-3-2, 7-2-2), because it puts the Indians in second place by themselves. However, Burroughs was unable to gain any ground on the Falcons, as they earned a 2-0 victory against Muir.
"We would have liked to be able to get the win and stay in a position to get that first-place spot in league," Glendale Coach Tulio Marroquin said. "But it was Burroughs' day. They played better than we did and they deserved to get the win."
With just three more league games remaining in the season, Burroughs Coach Allen Machuca said he realizes it will be tough trying to catch Crescenta Valley.
"It would be nice to come on [in the end] and win league, but we know that we're going to need some help," said the former Indians standout. "But we are really looking forward to playoffs, and we think we can do some damage there."
The Indians used crisp passing, solid scoring runs and an unbending defense to turn back the Nitros.
On offense, Burroughs received two goals from senior Angelo Escalante. However, Burroughs got the only goal it would need in the 13th minute when Manny Celio scored on a nice cross from Joan Alvarez.
Escalante tallied his first goal in the 21th minute and Alvarez scored a goal of his own in the 25th minute, as Burroughs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half.
Eddie Alvarez and Mauricio Cortes scored goals in the second half before Escalante tallied his final goal in extra time to cap the scoring.
With few legitimate scoring opportunities in the first half, Glendale played better in the second half and manufactured more chances. The Nitros' best opportunity came in the 66th minute when senior David Martirosyan got behind the Burroughs defense. He was able to get off a shot, but the attempt was stopped.
"I'm really proud that our guys didn't give up," Marroquin said.