Second-half slump forces Nitros to settle for tie

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Even with a two-goal lead entering the second half, there wasn't an air of confidence instilled by the Glendale High boys' soccer team.

The Nitros dominated most of the first half in their Pacific League home match against Burroughs on Friday. However, they didn't appear comfortable protecting it.

"We didn't relax," Glendale third-year Coach Tulio Marroquin said after the Nitros surrendered a pair of second-half goals in a 2-2 tie against Burroughs at Moyse Field. "We said at halftime that if they got a goal, they'll pick up the pace.

"We knew that a 2-0 lead wasn't going to be enough. We won the first half, but they won the second half."

Glendale (3-0-5, 1-0-3 in league) got first-half goals from junior midfielder Artur Nazarian and senior midfielder David Martirosyan. Burroughs (6-3-4, 1-1-2) countered with goals in the final 40 minutes from Alex Avelar-Escalante and Manuel Celio.

Glendale senior forward Levon Sargsyan, who assisted on Nazarian's goal and scored a last-minute goal Tuesday to give the Nitros a 1-1 tie against Burbank, said Glendale didn't play with the same grit in the second half that it had displayed in the first half.

"We've learned that we have to keep our heads up," said Sargsyan, a reigning All-Area and all-league first-team honoree. "We played well in the first half.

"In the second half, our heads got big because we thought it would be easy. We dropped our level of play. The tie makes it tough and we've got to finish our chances."

Glendale took a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute thanks to some hustle from Sargsyan. Sargsyan ran about 30 yards to track down a loose ball near the goalline and zipped a pass to Nazarian, who beat Burroughs goalkeeper John Castro.

Martirosyan extended Glendale's lead to 2-0 in the 30th minute.

The Indians struck for their two goals 10 minutes apart. Avelar-Escalante scored against James Mizuki in the 45th minute before Celio completed the comeback when he blasted a direct kick by Mizuki in the 55th minute.

Mizuki preserved the tie with 10 minutes left when he deflected a rising shot by Eddie Alvarez just over the crossbar. A minute later, a header by Burroughs' Steven Munoz bounced off the crossbar.

"We got the point in the standings and we knew that Burroughs would be tough because they never stopped playing," said Marroquin, whose team will next participate in a league match at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Muir before returning home to battle defending league-champion Crescenta Valley at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

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