Burbank water polo can't keep up momentum in tourney loss to Mayfield

BURBANK — The Burbank High girls' water polo team was sky high when it defeated Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy on Thursday.

Not only were the Bulldogs able to notch the victory in the first round of pool play in their own Burbank Tournament, but the win also signified the first of the year for the group.

Burbank was hoping to carry over that momentum in a tourney pool-play match later Thursday against Mayfield. However, the physical play of the Cubs threw the Bulldogs off of their game and Mayfield was able to notch an 11-4 victory.

"They did play kind of dirty," said Burbank's Chloe Hunter, who tallied two goals. "There was a lot of stuff going on, but I thought that we played to the best of our ability. We just didn't expect them to be that way and it kinda made me mad during the game. But that just made me want to try harder."

The Bulldogs (1-4) began their tournament with a 7-4 win against Flintridge Sacred Heart. Lala Herpetian and Stella Aghakian both had a pair of goals for Burbank.

With the exuberance over the first victory of the young season still in their minds, Burbank Coach Allison Young was hoping that would carry over into the contest with Mayfield.

"They were all cheering and so happy after we won that first game," said Young, who is in her first season. "We were hoping to use that momentum in our second game because the girls were so excited to get that win.

"I think it worked early on, but once the aggressiveness came out from the other team that kind of shut us down a bit."

The Bulldogs were also hampered by a long scoring drought that began early in thee second quarter and lasted until early in the fourth.

Burbank began the contest well, tallying the first goal with 3:32 remaining in the first quarter on a score by Juliana Vitagliano, who was able to slip behind the Mayfield defense.

Even when Mayfield scored the next two goals to take a 2-1 advantage, the Bulldogs fought back. Burbank tied the score at 2 with 2:22 left in the first on a goal from Ranah Elzaiat.

But the Cubs turned things on in the latter part of the first, tallying two goals to take a 4-2 lead into the break.

After the Cubs increased their lead to 5-3 in the second quarter, Burbank took advantage of a Mayfield ejection and Hunter scored with 4:06 left to cut the deficit to 5-3.

But then the Bulldogs' offense went silent. Burbank wouldn't score again until 2:54 was left in the match, a drought that lasted 13 minutes and 12 seconds.

Mayfield had a 7-3 advantage at the half.

The Bulldogs also had problems getting the ball past Mayfield goalkeeper Ellie Carl, who had 13 saves.

"We shot the ball right at their keeper so many times," Young said. "We just have to learn how to shoot for the corners and not just take shots right at their keeper."

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