BURBANK — A first half of frustration gave way to a second-half goal-scoring flurry for the Burbank High girls' soccer team Tuesday afternoon.
Senior forward Maddie Carlborg led the charge for host Burbank, as the striker finished with a hat trick and had a foot in each goal, as Burbank responded with four unanswered scores en route to a 4-1 victory over Pasadena in Pacific League play.
With the win, Burbank (11-6-1 overall, 6-1-1 in league) remained close with Arcadia (6-1-1), Crescenta Valley (9-3-1, 7-1) and Burroughs (9-11-1, 6-2) atop the league standings.
The defeat dropped Pasadena (5-9-2, 2-5) into a distant fifth place.
"I think we all thought at halftime that we just had to pull this together," said Carlborg, who leads Burbank with 10 goals and six assists. "Our talk at halftime was just about playing better and we did and we got four goals."
Pasadena led, 1-0, to begin the second half, but that quickly changed as Burbank countered with the one-two punch of goals from Carlborg in the 43rd and 47th minute.
The match-tying score was set up by a cross from junior forward Clarissa Guerrero from 15 yards right to Carlborg, who beat her defender and was one-on-one with Pasadena goalkeeper Jasmin Rodriguez (five saves).
Carlborg headed the pass around Rodriguez off the crossbar directly down and back into play. Before Rodriguez could get back into position, Carlborg knocked in the rebound that tied the match at 1.
The close call was echoed four minutes later when Burbank sophomore forward Lauren Brenn laced a ball 25 yards to Carlborg.
Rodriguez tried to pick off the ball, but then quickly back-pedaled when Carlborg took possession and still dribbled a shot from 20 yards with a defender on either side of her. The ball hit the goal line as Rodriguez dived for the save.
While Rodriguez corralled the ball, Carlborg was still credited with the goal as Burbank went ahead for good, 2-1.
"We just stepped up our offense in the second half," Burbank Coach Eric Montoya said. "The difference between the first half and the second is that we played kick ball and were lazy in the first half and in the second half we played with a lot more energy."
Burbank added a goal in the 60th minute off a 15-yard shot from Alessia Dal-Monte (assisted by Carlborg) that bounced off Rodriguez' hand and scored.
Finally, in the 76th minute, Carlborg scored again, this off an assist from Stephanie Simmons.
"Burbank is a second-half team and they beat us again with a great second half," said Pasadena Coach Kamiko Johnson, whose team was outscored, 4-0, in the second half of a 4-2 defeat against Burbank on Jan. 7. "We just didn't finish."
Despite being outshot, 8-3, in the first half, Pasadena led, 1-0, at halftime.
Pasadena's goal came in the 24th minute and started when junior halfback Samantha Koemans took possession of a loose ball 35 yards from goal and ran toward Burbank's net.
When a defender finally approached Koemans a couple of yards outside the 18, the midfielder lobbed a pass to teammate Hannah Habel that Burbank goalie Sarah Rangwala (three saves) attempted to intercept.
Habel, however, beat Randwala to the ball and let her slide right before Habel took one dribble and bounced a shot near post that scored from 10 yards.