A season removed from finishing last in the Pacific League, out of the playoffs and incurring CIF sanctions, the Burbank High boys' soccer team showcased just how far it has come — at least in the eyes of first-year Coach Loi Phan.
"It was great soccer, it was a great way to end," said Phan shortly after his Bulldogs lost to host John Glenn, 2-1, in double-overtime on Tuesday afternoon in the wild-card round of the CIF Southern Section Division IV tournament. "I told the seniors, if you're gonna lose, this is the way you want to go out."
John Glenn (11-6-3), which finished third in the Suburban League and advanced to play at Saddleback in Thursday's first round, scored the game-winner roughly three minutes into the second overtime off a corner kick, Phan said.
"It was a very physical, tough and well-played game. We battled," Phan said. "Basically, we lost cause we ran out of gas, cause they were so physical. They kept subbing and they were deeper than us."
John Glenn went up, 1-0, roughly 12 minutes into the first half, before Burbank's Tadeh Anbarchian scored the equalizer off a Dennis Palacio assist off a throw-in.
"It was a beautiful goal," said Phan of Anbarchian's score, which saw him take the ball off his chest with his back to the goal, turn and shoot immediately. "He shot it right when he could."
It came during a second half in which Phan said the Bulldogs (7-8-2) had the run of the game.
"We had them in the second half, we were shooting left and right," said Phan, who got seven saves from Ryan Tiegs. "We just couldn't put one in."
The game ended a season in which the Bulldogs took fourth in the Pacific League after a 2010-11 campaign in which they finished last in league and drew so many red cards and suspensions that this year's team was allowed just two nonleague games. But Phan was more than pleased with the group's sportsmanship and ability to come together as a team this year.
"They bought into it, so credit to them," Phan said. "These kids fought hard.
"This was a great group."