ARCADIA — With two games remaining in the Pacific League campaign, the Burroughs High girls' soccer team still had a chance at winning a league championship.
However, to keep their hopes alive, the Indians had to defeat a streaking Arcadia squad on Tuesday.
Burroughs did make it interesting. but couldn't recover from a sluggish first half and fell to the Apaches, 2-1, at Arcadia City Hall Field.
The loss marks the end of a title run for the Indians (12-11-2, 9-3-1 in league), which defeated Arcadia (11-6-2, 11-1-1), 1-0, in the team's first meeting. The Apaches will battle Crescenta Valley (14-3-2, 11-1-1) with the league crown on the line Thursday.
Burroughs Coach Eddie Garcia said his team might have been focusing on the importance of the contest too much, and as a result, didn't play its best in the first half.
"I just don't think they were prepared mentally," Garcia said. "Knowing that if they won both of their last two games, basically all three teams could be tied for first, I think that got to them a little bit. Maybe they were over thinking things out there."
Arcadia, which has won seven straight league matches, came out and dictated the action over the course of the first 20 minutes. The Apaches created their share of chances and kept the ball primarily in the Burroughs half. But despite the chances, Arcadia couldn't score.
Arcadia's best chance came in the 20th minute when Vienna Rousset took a nine pass from Bailey Mushisky in front of the Burroughs goal. Mushisky had an open look at the net, but her shot was saved and covered up by goalkeeper Miranda Keakul.
Burroughs had two shots on goal in the first half, but both were offerings that trickled to goalkeeper Adriana Maldonado, who was able to make easy saves.
"I think we lost our composure at times," Garcia said. "But you could also see some flashes where we were able to put it together. But we just didn't have enough of those times."
Arcadia was finally able to break a scoreless tie in the 37th minute. Rachel Schroeder delivered a pass up top to Rousset, who was motoring up the middle. Rousset was able to outrun a defender, dribble in and put a perfectly placed pass past Keakul for the score.
Unfortunately for Burroughs, the eventual game-winning goal came just two minutes later on a mistake. Schroeder took a free kick from the right side about 25 yards from the Indians goal. Her shot wasn't particularly hard, and Keakul positioned herself to block the shot with her hands up. It appeared that the goalkeeper played the shot perfectly, but the ball nicked off of her glove and into the net.
"That was only her third quarter playing goalie," Garcia said. "Our regular goalie is hurt. It was a bad goal, but I can't blame her for that."
Down, 2-0, at the half, Burroughs played better in the second half.
The Indians got on the board in the 55th minute thanks to a good pass from Tatiana Rizzotti. Rizzotti found Emma Pineiro streaking down the left side. The pass hit Pineiro in stride and when Maldonado came out to cut down the angle, she lifted a shot past the keeper to cut the deficit in half.
Burroughs' best chance to tie the score came in the 64th minute. Off of a corner kick by Rizzotti, the ball found Brittany Mata positioned in front of the Arcadia goal. Mata took a hard shot, but the offering was stopped by a sprawling Maldonado.