BURBANK — Perhaps it was just a little extra hustle that proved the difference for the Burroughs High girls’ soccer team in Monday afternoon’s Pacific League action versus visiting Crescenta Valley at Memorial Field.
Indians junior forward Danielle Tilton fired a brilliant 12-yard goal into the top left corner of the opposing box in the 65th minute, having to outrun two defenders in the process, in what was a 1-0 victory for Burroughs, the first such triumph for the program versus the Falcons since Feb. 1, 2008.
“It there’s one word to describe Danielle, that’s it, hustle,” Burroughs first-year Coach Brady Riggs said. “She’s got this motor on her that doesn’t quit and she just finished on a great pass from [sophomore midfielder] Noelle Garcia, who’s been outstanding both in the backfield and on set pieces.”
The victory, which snapped an Indians 0-6-6 winless streak versus the Falcons (2-6 overall, 2-1 in league), leaves Burroughs (4-6, 3-0) as one of two undefeated teams in league with Arcadia, which traveled to Hoover on Monday.
As for the goal, the shot was set up when Garcia was taken down from behind 30 yards from her own goal.
The Indians were awarded a free kick, which Garcia blasted into the Falcons’ attacking third.
The ball bounced high about 30 yards from the Crescenta Valley goal with two Falcons defenders and Tilton tracking down the pass.
Tilton raced and split the defenders. Tilton took possession, dribbled about 10 yards and then fired a right-to-left shot that curled into the corner of the net for the match’s lone goal.
“I just think [the defenders] were caught a little off-guard with the pass and I was able to get ahead of them,” said Tilton, a transfer from Mission Viejo High. “I was just trying to score. I really wasn’t thinking about anything else other than that.”
The goal was enough, as the Falcons, who finished with nine shots, only attempted one shot on goal in the second half, which came about three minutes before Tilton’s match-winner.
“Honestly, I’m not really that upset. I like the effort I saw out there from my players. That’s been a big question mark with them and with some girls not giving me their best,” Falcons Coach Jorden Schulz said. “We’re starting to finally give that effort. Today, maybe Burroughs just had a little more.”
Crescenta Valley’s chance at taking the lead came and went swiftly in the 62nd minute as a poor clearout attempt from an Indians defender hit off the legs of Crescenta Valley’s Lauren Busta, who was 20 yards from goal with two defenders flanking her.
The sophomore took about four steps before firing a 16-yard shot that Indians goalie Taylor Bailey (eight saves) punched away on a dive to her left.
“For us, it was just a matter of getting more attempts and more offense,” Schulz said. “We’ll see Burroughs again in three weeks at our place and maybe we’ll take advantage of our home field.”
While Falcons goalie Sydney Schoeller was unable to make a play on Tilton’s clincher, the freshman was hardly to blame, as she finished with five saves and played the second half with the sun in her face.
Schoeller might have made the save of the match when she denied Tilton from 20 yards with a lunging punch save in the 53rd minute.
Burroughs finished with nine shots, with perhaps the team’s best look prior to the score coming in the 28th minute when a corner kick from Garcia was blocked by Schoeller into the path of Burroughs’ Miranda Kaekul, who chipped a six-yard shot just over the crossbar.
Falcons midfielder Grace Keller nearly put her team on the board in the 40th minute when the junior laced a side-winding 40-yard free kick that Bailey initially moved to her right to stop, only to change direction at the last minute and jump to her left for the save.
The shutout was the third straight for the Indians, who have outscored three league opponents, 9-0, which highlights a turnaround, as the squad allowed 10 goals during its previous three matches within the Los Tacos Tournament.
“We took a beating out there, no question,” Riggs said. “But we learned to play defense and we adjusted and stopped making the same mistakes. That’s what’s really rewarding.”