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Prep boys soccer: Canyon ties game before losing in penalties

Burroughs defeats Canyon in thriller

Posted: December 13, 2013 10:57 p.m.
Updated: December 13, 2013 10:57 p.m.
 

Two teams coming off vastly different 2012-13 campaigns met in an early season tilt Friday night in the quarterfinals of the Ralph Brandt Boys Soccer tournament at Burroughs High School.

Whether the defending Pacific League champion Burroughs Indians have taken a step back after losing three All-CIF Southern Section players to graduation, or the Canyon Cowboys, who finished last in the Foothill League, have improved, remains to be seen.

But on Friday night, in a 0-0 (4-1 penalty kicks) Burroughs’ victory, the two were about as evenly matched as any pairing in the 15-team tournament.

That was until penalty kicks, when Andres Aguilar beat Canyon goalkeeper Niko Nuyda to the top left to send Burroughs on to the semifinals.

“With this team, this loss was a good loss,” Nuyda said. “It wasn’t a victory but it was better than a loss. I’m very happy. We definitely shut them out for the most part.”

Canyon (2-2-1) took advantage of a Burroughs midfield missing graduated Pacific League Player of the Year Brian Arzate and fellow All-CIF honoree Manny Celio with a strong, possession-oriented game plan that moved the ball through to speedy forward Aram Kazarian.

The Cowboys are familiar with rebuilding, too, looking for more offense this year after losing its top offensive threat in Chad Ybarra to graduation.

Burroughs (4-0) provided a contrast to the Cowboys, sending the ball through to its own skilled frontline of Ashot Veisyan and Milosh Petko, who used their skill up top to create multiple opportunities for the Indians against Nuyda, who notched seven saves.

“Different styles,” said Burroughs head coach Mike Kodama. “(Canyon) came to play. They had to press every ball. If they gave us an inch we would go right through it. They were playing to counter.”

The Indians came agonizingly close to taking the lead early in the second half when Canyon sweeper Tristan Rochow cleared away a header that looked destined for the back of the net.

Burroughs also nearly took a first-half lead when a free kick from 32-yards out midway through the first half from Brandon Gerlach was sent in on Nuyda, who leaped at the back corner and knocked the ball away off the crossbar to leave the soccer level at 0-0.

Notes: Saugus fell to Birmingham in the quarterfinals 4-0, while West Ranch fell to St. Francis 2-0 in the consolation semifinals.

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