After Pasadena used a five-goal run in the second quarter to provide the difference in a 10-7 win in the battle between Bulldogs, there was even more confusion.
“The whole season was just working toward doing whatever we could to get into CIF,” said Pasadena’s Kinsey Burgess. “So this was a big step toward that.”
Pasadena (9-19, 2-4) clearly took a positive step toward the playoffs, but after that it gets murky. Pasadena Coach Jennifer Jacobsen-Huse was under the impression that her team, which had lost to Arcadia (2-4 in league) was playing for a better shot at an at-large berth. Burbank first-year Coach Kristina Garcia was under the impression that her team’s playoff hopes were lost after her Bulldogs (9-11, 2-4) were defeated. Alas, there’s a three-way tie for fourth place in league, which signifies the last automatic postseason berth and the last seed in next week’s league tournament.
On Thursday, though, a coin flip was conducted and won by Pasadena, bestowing it fourth place and a spot in the league tournament, where it will face first-place Crescenta Valley on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Burbank High. Burbank and Arcadia will play each other as the fifth- and sixth-place teams, respectively. With 17 automatic spots in the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs, getting a wild card is unlikely.
One thing that was certain going into Wednesday was that a Burbank victory would clinch fourth place.
But after the teams played to a 2-2 stalemate after the first period, Pasadena scored five consecutive goals to take a commanding lead it would never let get closer than the final three-goal spread.
“We just found our rhythm,” said Jacobsen-Huse, adding that her team’s previous run of seven games in bigger pools than Pasadena’s notoriously small pool likely played a part in a slow start.
While Pasadena may have settled down, Garcia thought her squad got a little too settled in.
“We played like we have been playing — lazy,” Garcia said.
Pasadena’s Claire Taylor, loosely guarded in the early going, scored her team’s first four goals, which was good enough for a game high.
“I definitely took advantage,” said Taylor of being liberally marked. “I stay back a little bit, so when the defense gets a turnover, I’m ready.”
Taylor’s two scores to open the second quarter built a 4-2 lead before she assisted on goals from Aria Hueso (three goals) and Chanel Cox (two goals) sandwiched around a Daniela Garcia tally.
With 25 seconds remaining in the half, Burbank finally broke its drought, when Lala Herpetian scored off a Ryan Bettencourt assist. The goal ended a span of 10 minutes 12 seconds in which the Bulldogs were held scoreless.
The offensive troubles continued in the third quarter, as Burbank couldn’t score on its first seven possessions of the frame until Bettencourt cherry-picked a goal to cut the lead to 7-4. Thus, Burbank held Pasadena scoreless for the entire third quarter, but bad shot selections and turnovers kept it from truly gaining ground.
“That’s all we’ve been work on is shots, passing and that’s what we didn’t do today,” said Kristina Garcia, who got three goals from Abby Glaessner and two from Herpetian.
Pasadena scored three of the fourth quarter’s first four goals to put any realistic hopes of a comeback to rest as a Cox score put Pasadena up, 10-5, with 2:37 to go.
Now, of course, the question as to how much of either teams’ season is left to go remains to be answered.