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Canyon Comes Up Big Against Burroughs, 3-2


CANYON COUNTRY — Move over Burroughs High, you big boys' soccer bully. Canyon has arrived.

The bigger, more physical Cowboys gained early control of the Foothill League race by defeating the Indians, 3-2, Tuesday at Canyon High.

Burroughs, the defending league champion, has won six of the past seven league titles. Canyon has not won it since the 1990-1991 season.

"This is huge," Canyon Coach John Robb said. "It's big for Canyon, but I expected to be here. When the newspapers asked for predictions, I picked Canyon first."

Canyon (11-5-1, 3-0-1 in league play) took advantage of its size superiority by constantly playing lofted chip shots and high punts by goalie Dave Alexander.

The strategy also helped contain the Indians (10-2-5, 2-1-1), known for their quickness and ball control.

Trailing, 3-1, Burroughs finally got a ground attack working in the final 20 minutes, putting constant pressure on the Canyon defense.

Miguel Meneses, who failed to convert on two opportunities earlier, pulled his team to within 3-2 when he beat two defenders and booted a low dribbler past Alexander.

Despite playing most of the final 10 minutes near the Canyon goal and with a man advantage, Burroughs could not get the equalizer.

"We're pretty good on the ground, too," Robb said. "But when we're in their end we like to get it in the air to take advantage of our size around the goal."

Which is exactly what happened in the 13th minute, when 6-foot-4, 225-pound Jimmy Giordano elevated above the Burroughs defense to head in Adan Dominguez's free kick and give Canyon a 1-0 lead.

Eighteen minutes later, in front of the Burroughs goal, Canyon's John Thompson took control of the ball with his back to the goal, faked to his left, spun right and fired for a score.

Ryan Tohill scored Canyon's third goal on a rebound two minutes into the second half when Burroughs goalie Michael Sycz bobbled a Giordano free kick.

The game became physical in the second half. Thompson received two yellow cards, Brian Criscuolo and Meneses received yellow cards for Burroughs and Pat Terry was ejected for punching Meneses.

"We play physical, but clean. Then the other team fouls, then we retaliate and the refs get all over us," Robb said. "But if we keep our heads, the sky is the limit for this team."

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