LA CRESCENTA — In a prime example that anything can change from game to game in the world of Pacific League girls' soccer, Wednesday's match between host Crescenta Valley High and Burroughs couldn't have been much more different than the teams' initial meeting.
After playing to a one-goal draw earlier in the season at Burroughs, a focused and fired-up Falcons squad came out blazing to the tune of a 5-0 drubbing of the visiting Indians.
"It was a total mental lapse, if you will, in the first game [and a] lack of effort all put together. We are much better than the way we played them the first time and they needed to show it," said Crescenta Valley Coach Jorden Schulz, whose team rode the momentum of two goals in the first 13 minutes to a dominating showing. "We were totally focused today. We did what we needed to do."
What the Falcons (9-4-1, 7-1-1 in league) needed to do was notch a victory to keep pace with Arcadia, which entered the day in first place by a victory, while CV was tied for second with Pasadena (7-1-1 in league) and Burroughs (10-6-1, 4-3-1) occupied fourth.
"We're trying to step up and win every game and win big," said senior Katie Callister, who had a pair of goals. "Every game and every practice, we're working hard."
Crescenta Valley also got goals from Sarah Worden, Sharon Lee and Lisa Kang, with Olivia Bird chipping in two assists while also playing a large part in a borderline flawless defensive effort. The defense — Mallory Carcich, Dani Busta, Bird and the rotating Sierra Rhodes and Worden — allowed just one shot in the shutout, while the Falcons offense peppered the Indians with 38 shots.
"With losses come lessons," said Burroughs first-year Coach Eddie Garcia, who talked with his team for roughly 15 minutes after the match. "They're a good group and they mean well, but I think sometimes the immaturity in their game shows.
"They'll get better."
Bad weather and injury problems didn't help Burroughs' cause. Freshman starter Kristin Masuzumi did not play due to injury, while starter Maria Gomez did not play, as she received a red card in Friday's game against Burbank. Thus, she was scheduled to miss Monday's game against Hoover, but the game was postponed due to rain.
"[Gomez is] definitely an impact player and you see it when she's not there," Garcia said.
Schulz was also quick to point out Gomez' absence, but it was hard to fathom any one player could slow down the Falcons on Wednesday.
Karina Costilla played a ball to Worden on the left side in the sixth minute that Worden shot low. The ball was deflected and misdirected past the goalie for a 1-0 lead.
Seven minutes later, Bird passed to Callister, who ran through an offsides trap and went low past the goalie in a one-on-one for a 2-0 lead.
Another one-on-one ended badly for Burroughs after Busta crossed a pass to Lee, who scored in the 31st minute.
In the second half, a Bird corner kick found the back of Callister's head and the ball found the back of the net for a 4-0 advantage before another Bird corner was kicked around in a scrum before Kang booted home the game's final tally.
All told, Burroughs' only shot — which was a hard liner by Bailey Simmons that was saved by Dani Buford — didn't come until roughly 20 minutes after Kang's tally. Other than that, outside of a handful of deep runs — usually by Tatiana Rizzotti or Brittany Mata — that were snuffed out by the Falcons' foursome in back, the Indians offense did little else.
"I think we have a really strong defensive line," Callister said. "Today, we were finding the passes, connecting and making runs."
Thus, for Burroughs it was a forgettable performance and one Garcia hopes his team does, in fact, forget quickly.
"You gotta get past it," said Garcia, whose team faces Pasadena on Friday. "They're a competitive group. I hope they come out hungry."
Schulz' band will face Burbank, which lost to CV, 5-0, in the teams' prior meeting, on Friday, as the Falcons continue their quest to keep hope alive for a fourth straight league crown.
"We're anticipating that we're gonna have to beat Arcadia to win league," Schulz said. "But if we don't win the next [five] games, that's not gonna matter."