BURBANK — The pitch played more of a role than is typical when the Burroughs High girls’ soccer team squared off against Pasadena on Friday.
With their home field undergoing renovations, the Indians host opponents at Luther Burbank Middle School. Both parties agreed that the bumpy, pockmarked field is a far cry from the artificial playing surfaces that many schools have become accustomed.
Despite the less than ideal playing surface, Pasadena rallied from two goals down to win, 4-3.
“I don’t want to say the field is bad, [but] when it’s in your head the field is bad, or the weather is bad, whatever, it gets you mentally unfocused and you do irresponsible things,” said Pasadena Coach Kamiko Johnson of her team’s early 2-0 deficit. “I just think it was in their heads.”
The win improves the Bulldogs to 11-2-1 overall and 7-1-1 in Pacific League play, where they sit in second place.
“I think they got comfortable on the field,” Johnson said. “When you play on turf, it’s faster. It’s hard to adjust. They kind of woke up after the second goal.”
Tied 2-2 at the half, Pasadena took its first lead of the game in the 56th minute when Samantha Koemans hooked a shot into the net’s upper right corner from about 20 yards out.
“It was really bumpy,” Koemans said. “When I chested the ball from the throw in, I just wanted to finish it. I saw an open shot and just hit it in.”
Pasadena padded its lead 4-2 after Hannah Habel connected on a straight away empty-net goal in the 71st minute.
“The field was really bumpy, and it was hard to make good passes,” said Habel, who finished with two goals. “In the second part of the first half, we stepped up.”
The Indians’ Emma Pineiro added a late score to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Burroughs (10-6-3, 4-4-1) leaped out to a 2-0 lead in the match’s first 12 minutes behind goals from Brianna Matallana and Josie Castellon. But The Bulldogs rallied with two goals of their own from Habel and Amanda Speks to knot the game at 2.
“They’re really young in their careers,” said Burroughs Coach Eddie Garcia. “A 2-0 lead is usually something that players feel like ‘We got it,’ and they get comfortable and then this type of situation happens.
“I hate to be one of these guys that blames it on something else, but the field does make a difference. At the same time, [Pasadena] is also playing on the same field, so you can’t entirely use it. It’s just a matter of getting them a little more confidence of when they can shoot the ball.”