Burbank's Guerrero shares Pacific League's top honor in girls' soccer

No matter where Clarissa Guerrero was positioned on the soccer field, she was determined to make the best of every situation.

"I will play anywhere they need me on the field," said Guerrero, who just completed her senior season on the Burbank High girls' team. "If they needed me at forward I would play there or if them needed me on defense I would play there, too. I would even play goalie if they needed me there."

Primarily a forward, there were times this past season when Bulldogs Coach Eric Montoya used the four-year starter all over the field.

"A good example of that came in one of our games against [Crescenta Valley]," Montoya said. "We needed her in the back to we moved her to defense and she did a great job.

"Clarissa is the kind of player who will do whatever she can to help the team. She is such a versatile player and she is so good on the field that she can play almost anywhere."

In two games against the Falcons, the Bulldogs played to a scoreless tie in one and earned a 2-1 victory in the other.

It was those skills that made Guerrero a tough player to contain this past season in the Pacific League. Her talents were also not lost on the league coaches, as the senior was voted the Pacific League co-Player of the Year along with Pasadena senior midfielder Samantha Koemans.

Seven Burbank players earned all-league honors, while three athletes from Burroughs were selected.

Making the first team from Burbank were senior defender Michelle Morales, freshman midfielder Mireya Gonzalez and senior midfielder Dakota Briseno. The lone first-team recipient for the Indians was junior sweeper Kristin Masuzumi.

Senior goalkeeper Kaitlin Brooks and senior defender Juliana Marx of Burbank, along with senior Alexsis Hernandez of Burroughs, earned spots on the second team. Bulldogs freshman forward Kira Bochard and Indians senior goalkeeper Taylor Bailey were honorable-mention selections.

With Guerrero leading the way, Burbank enjoyed a successful season. The Bulldogs went 12-5-1 and placed second in the Pacific League behind champion Arcadia with a 10-3-1 record.

Proving her worth as an offensive weapon as well as a facilitator, Guerrero tallied 22 goals to go along with 14 assists.

"Anyone who watched our team play could see how important a player Clarissa was for us," Montoya said. "She really deserved to be the co-MVP in our league this year.

"But she has been an important part of our program for years. Just to see how she has progressed in those four years is really amazing. She just worked hard to be the complete package and that showed by what she was able to do as a senior."

Guerrero said she didn't begin the season with the goal of winning the top award in league; for her, the success of the team far outweighed any personal aspirations she might have entertained.

"I feel that in all the four years, I just tried my hardest and I just tried to give all that I could on the field," Guerrero said. "There were a lot of good players in the league this year with a lot of talent and I just feel honored to be given the award and be co-MVP.

"But I couldn't have done it without all of my teammates. They were beside me all the way and they all helped me become a better player. … I owe them a lot."

Burroughs (8-11-2), which struggled with injuries all season, finished fourth in the Pacific League with a 7-5-2 record.

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