Flintridge Sacred Heart water polo overcomes slow start to defeat Burbank

BURBANK — The Burbank High girls' water polo team took advantage of a slow start by Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy to take a lead in the first quarter of Wednesday's nonleague match.

But the Tologs made adjustments in the second quarter and the Bulldogs' offense went ice cold. So cold, in fact, that Burbank was shut out in the second and third quarters.

Taking full advantage, Sacred Heart grabbed the momentum of the contest and was able to coast to a relatively easy 9-4 victory over the host Bulldogs.

In the first quarter, Burbank (1-1) took a 2-1 advantage and looked to have things under control. However, the team went on a lengthy scoring drought that lasted from late in the first quarter to early in the fourth quarter. It was a drought that took up 15 minutes and 51 seconds.

"The first two goals that they got was just us not getting to the ball and not being aggressive," said Tologs second-year Coach Carlos Ponce, whose team suffered an 8-2 nonleague loss Tuesday against La Salle to open up its season. "We just couldn't have that and we knew that we could play better than that.

"So after that first quarter I told them that ball has to be ours. It doesn't matter where the ball is it has to be ours, ours, ours. And I think after that first quarter we were able to control that and that helped us a great deal."

Burbank, which was coming off a 10-9 nonleague loss Monday to La Cañada in its season opener, looked good in the early going. After the Tologs (1-1) tallied the first goal of the game, the Bulldogs came back with consecutive goals by Ranah Elzaiat and Loosine Boghosian and went into the first intermission with a 2-1 advantage.

"We knew after the first quarter that they weren't that far ahead of us, so we knew we could still come back," said Sacred Heart's Madeline Dulcich, who had three goals. "We knew that we could do this and we knew that we just had to come back and play with heart. That just motivated us and we knew that we could come back and play better than we did."

The Tologs did just that in the second quarter. And when Devin Aubert scored with 2:30 remaining, Sacred Heart had surged in front, 3-2. It would never trail thereafter.

Burbank could manage just two shots in the second quarter and the Tologs went into halftime leading, 3-2.

"This game just shows us that we have a lot of things to work on," first-year Burbank Coach Allyson Young said. "They want to be good right away, but it's just going to take some time to work on the things we have to work on to be successful.

"We just weren't setting up after that first quarter and we were just crowding the middle. We can't play like that."

The Tologs got two goals from Dulcich in the third quarter and increased their lead to 5-2 after three. The Bulldogs missed all of their four shots in the stanza.

Burbank finally halted its scoring drought when Stella Aghakian scored with 5:47 remaining. However, by that point Sacred Heart already had a 6-3 lead.


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