On the cusp of advancing to the semifinals, Burroughs seemed to have things under control. Then Palmdale’s Oscar Torres spoiled Burroughs’ playoff run.
Torres was tripped up inside the goal box, warranting the penalty kick. Torres chipped an arching shot past Burroughs goalkeeper Elliot Whitecotton two minutes into sudden-death overtime.
“This was a great game and there’s nothing yo can do [about the penalty shot,” said Burroughs Coach Mike Kodama, whose team finished 15-7-3 and won the Pacific League championship. “We gave it our all and left everything out there.
“They capitalized on the penalty shot. Sometimes it comes down to making a split decision on a play like that while you are defending. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong. [Torres] is a great player.”
Third-seeded Palmdale (24-3-3) will meet Channel Islands in a semifinal match Tuesday. Palmdale won the Golden League title.
Burroughs spent most of the match playing catch-up, coming back from a pair of one-goal deficits.
The Indians appeared to have things under control after Brian Azote and Jimmy Kalyky scored a minute apart late in the match. Torres then tied it at 3 when he deflected in a free kick by Steve Ramirez with nearly four minutes left in regulation.
Burroughs nearly won it in the waning moments of regulation, but Palmdale goalkeeper Mainoe Toj made two big saves near the goal mouth.
“We were in good position and then they get that third goal,” Arzate said. “We gave it everything we had, but they deserved it.
“It’s tough to lose that way. We came back twice, it’s part of soccer.”
The Falcons, who advanced to the semifinals for the second straight season and third time in the last eight years, took a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute. A Palmdale shot bounced off a Burroughs defender and squirted to Torres, who gained possession of the ball and spun around before beating Whitecotton near the right post.
The Indians responded when Gerlach headed in a beautiful crossing pass from Jorman Herrera in the 30th minute.
Palmdale regained the lead at 2-1 when Ramirez threaded a through ball to Torres, who split a pair of Burroughs defenders and beat Whitecotton on a partial breakaway.
Arzate and Kalyky helped the Indians regain the lead before Torres dashed their championship aspirations.
“It just came down to who wanted it more and both teams played great,” Gerlach said. “We hung in there with a good team.
“It’s really hard right now, but we will use this as a learning experience and try to come back strong next year. We had a great season.”
Burroughs opened the playoffs with a 4-2 home win against Anaheim before registering a 2-1 road win against Redlands East Valley.