Burroughs girls' water polo lacks 'aggression' in loss to Notre Dame

BURBANK HIGH — Things didn't look good for the Burroughs High girls' water polo team as it fell behind by five goals late in the third quarter Thursday night against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in a second-round, pool-play match in the Burbank Tournament.

But instead of rolling over, the Indians battled back. Burroughs cut the deficit to just two goals with 4:44 remaining in the contest and appeared to have momentum on its side.

However, missed opportunities late in the final quarter allowed the Knights to hold on for a 7-4 victory.

The Indians entered the contest with high spirits after breezing to an easy 13-3 win against Marlborough in the first round of the tournament earlier in the day. But Burroughs couldn’t carry over that success against Notre Dame, as it came out flat and struggled to create offensive opportunities.

“We really didn’t work to get open for the ball,” Burroughs Coach Danny Garcia said. “Our aggression and our intensity from the previous game just went out the window. We were afraid to shoot the ball at times and we never really got into our offense. We really shot ourselves in the foot.”

Another problem for the Indians was their transition defense. After missing on offensive opportunities, the Indians were slow to get back and the Knights pushed the ball up quickly and created a host of fast-break chances against an unprotected Burroughs goalkeeper.

“They probably had five or more one-on-nones and we just can’t leave our goalie exposed like that,” Garcia said.

The situation looked bleak for the Indians when Notre Dame took a 6-1 lead with 2:17 remaining in the third quarter on a goal by Sandra Marcado. But Burroughs’ Emilee Holgate scored with 33 seconds left in the third to give the Indians some hope at 6-2.

The momentum carried over into the fourth quarter, as the Indians’ Sierra Marroquin (two goals) found pay dirt on a man-advantage with 5:22 remaining and Cheyenne Morrison scored at the 4:44 mark to bring Burroughs to within two. The later goal came after a steal from Baily Simmons. Marroquin missed on a shot and the rebound bounced to Morrison, who blasted it home.

“At that point I thought we had all the momentum and I thought that we had plenty of time to make a comeback,” Garcia said. “But we kind of got thrown off after that and we were never able to score on the opportunities that we had.

“What it came down to is that we had poor shooting in the first half and we didn’t play well in the second half.”

After getting to within two, Burroughs turned the ball over on a shot-clock violation and also missed on two consecutive shot attempts — one of which banked off the crossbar.

Notre Dame’s Emily Fuller gave her team some breathing room with a goal with 2:21 remaining.

The Indians had two more shots in the final two minutes but couldn’t score.

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