BURBANK — It was an eerily quiet Friday evening at Memorial Field on the campus of John Burroughs High School.
Other than the occasional plight of a suspected non-call, the only noise registered came from the touches on the field between Saugus and El Camino Real in quarterfinals of the Burroughs Tournament.
The Centurions offense followed suit with its environment, struggling to muster quality chances in a 1-0 loss — their first of the season.
“That ‘last pass’ evaded us,” said Saugus coach Seth Groller. “We were successful in getting the ball down in their territory. We just couldn’t get that nice shot on frame or that right outlet.”
Saugus (1-1-2) played in El Camino Real territory for most of the second half but logged just one shot on goal.
Dylan Sullivan drilled a shot off the right foot of a Conquistadors defender inside the right post coming off a corner kick midway through the half. But that was as close as the Cents would get to tying things up after allowing a goal to Bryan Galicia in the final 15 minutes of the first half.
“We knew they were going to attack; (Sullivan) is a very strong player,” said El Camino Real coach Ian Kogan. “Saugus was dangerous on its set pieces and the hit a lot of long balls, but we were able to clear them out.”
Galicia notched the game only goal after a deflected cross landed right in front of him inside the penalty box. He had a wide-open look at Cents goalkeeper Matt Sayers, who logged four saves.
“We should’ve marked (Galicia) tighter inside,” Groller said, “but that’s one of those things that’s tough to defend when you get a deflection like that.”
While the Cents’ offense struggled to provide a spark in the second half, so did El Camino Real’s. The Conquistadors (5-0) returned nearly their entire lineup from a team that made it to the quarterfinals of the CIF-LA City Section last year.
“Once we were able to hold onto the ball offensively, we really limited their chances,” Groller said. “We really stepped up in the second half. I obviously hate losing, but I like the way the team responded.”
Tanner Brown had two shots on goal in the first half, with Jeremy Hindigian adding one as well.
Saugus continues its Burroughs Tournament slate Saturday at St. Francis.