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Burbank outlasts CV for 9-7 win

Water polo: Bulldogs offense comes on late to best Falcons in league OT victory.

October 04, 2012|By Grant Gordon

BURBANK — For nearly nine minutes of tense, dramatic, back-and-forth Pacific League boys' water polo, host Burbank High and Crescenta Valley held each other scoreless.

But just 26 seconds into overtime, Burbank's Zach Card changed all of that, skipping in a goal to end the drought and catapult the Bulldogs to a three-goal surge in the extra session that led them to a 9-7 win on Thursday afternoon at Burbank High.

"This is the team that Burbank is," said first-year Bulldogs Coach Kristina Garcia, who was still stewing over an upset loss to Pasadena in overtime on Tuesday before her team pulled out Thursday's nailbiting victory. "They stepped up immensely, more than ever. This is the best they've played."

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While Burbank (6-4, 1-1), ranked eighth in CIF Southern Section Division V, was reeling from an overtime loss, the fifth-ranked Falcons (5-10, 1-1) were playing their third game in as many days, but Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju said it wasn't fatigue that was an issue, but lackluster offensive play, that led to CV's demise. The Falcons were held scoreless for the first five minutes 25 seconds of the match and, amazingly, the last 13:55 of the match.

"Shot selection was horrible and [we kept] hitting the bar," Sakonju said. "We had a horrible shooting day. Just the execution [of the offense] was off."

Still, the teams were deadlocked after Crescenta Valley's Nate Fernandez scored a man-advantage tally with 1:32 to go in the third. But a lot of good defense and plenty of not-so good offense was showcased in a scoreless fourth quarter.

The most dangerous offensive weapon in the pool on Thursday was clearly the right arm of Card, though, who had a match-high five goals, with his last coming at the 2:34 mark of the first half of overtime to put his team ahead, 7-6. A Daniel Gonzalez goal followed with 54 seconds to go, sending the Bulldogs fans into a delirium. In the second half of overtime, Burbank looked to run out the clock, but had an opening on the outside and Card had a solid shot that was saved, only to see Dante Nazarian poke in the rebound for an insurmountable 9-6 lead with 1:40 remaining in overtime.

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