BURBANK HIGH — It didn’t take long for the Burroughs High boys’ soccer team to dig itself into a hole during its CIF Southern Section Division IV second-round playoff game against Santa Monica on Tuesday.
In fact, it took just 24 seconds.
The Vikings took the opening kick and quickly went downfield, tallying the only goal they would need in a 2-0 victory against the Indians at Burbank High.
The loss ends the season for Burroughs (10-9-4), which placed second in the Pacific League under Coach Mike Kodama. Kodama returned to lead the program after leaving in 2009 after heading the Indians for 22 years.
Kodama said the early goal was devastating for the Indians.
“The first goal was a killer,” said Kodama, whose team earned a 2-1 win in the first round of the playoffs against Mayfair. “To allow a goal that early and to have to play from behind the rest of the way is very tough. At this level, sometimes making one mistake is all that it takes. We made the mistake and they capitalized on it.”
Santa Monica (12-3-3) — the Ocean League champion — played well on defense and was successful in stopping all of Burroughs’ scoring opportunities. However, in the early going, the Vikings attacked on offense.
“I think [Burroughs] came out a little defensive,” Santa Monica Coach Serafin Rodriguez said. “When you get an early goal like we did, I think it destroyed their confidence.
“But the key for us was after getting that goal, we didn’t slow down and we just kept playing the same way.”
The first goal looked like it caught the Indians off guard. The Vikings took the opening kick and headed into Burroughs territory. Santa Monica made two passes and the ball went to Kevin Eyler. He was able to loft a pass to Barak Cassilly, who was moving toward the goal. With the Indians’ goalkeeper playing out, he tried to retreat, but Cassilly chipped the ball over his head and into the goal.
“It was a great pass by Kevin, and he just sent it over the top,” Cassilly said. “With the defender right by me, I just tried to put the ball over him before I fell down. The keeper got two fingers on it but I was able to get it over him. I think the keeper was surprised that I took the shot and I don’t think he was ready for it.”
Santa Monica made its one goal stand throughout the first half, as it went into the break with a 1-0 advantage.
Burroughs squandered a perfect scoring chance in the 23rd minute that would have knotted the score. Francisco Baez took a shot on goal that the Santa Monica keeper blocked. However, the ball trickled free and landed at the feet of Brandon Gerlach. Gerlach took a hard shot but the ball hit the left post and was cleared by the Vikings.
“We had our chances, we just didn’t finish,” Kodama said. “If we would have finished our chances, I think it would have been another story.”
The Indians also missed with a chance in the final minute of the first half, as a free kick by Alex Avelar-Escalante sailed just over the crossbar.
In the second half, Burroughs had two shots on goal in the first minute, but could not convert either.
The match stayed 1-0 until the final three minutes when Santa Monica’s Diego Serrano scored.
“We knew the game was going to be tight and we knew there were going to be limited opportunities to score,” Kodama said.