Graham’s Big Day

Aline Graham had the game of her life last Friday afternoon. Granted, the Muir High girls’ soccer team is the worst in the Pacific League, but she’ll gladly take the four-goal, first-half performance as Glendale routed the visiting Mustangs 6-0.

“We worked on a plan and we wanted to win,’’ said Graham, a sophomore forward. “Yes, it’s the most points I’ve scored, and it was fun.”

The Nitros failed to qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs. “I’m disappointed we didn’t make the playoffs,’’ said Graham. “Maybe we can next season?”

Six minutes in, Graham gave Glendale a 1-0 lead when she scored from 15 yards out. Eleven minutes later it became 2-0 after senior forward Elena Pierce drilled home a winner from five yards out. Pierce’s shot came off a rebound as senior midfielder Ashley Aquino missed a short blast.

Graham’s goal from 15 yards out and seven minutes left before the half gave Glendale (4-14-2 overall and 3-9 in league) a 3-0 advantage, and it swelled to 4-0 on Graham’s 10-yard attempt 35 minutes into the opening half.

“We know that Muir is down, but we wanted to work on some things,’’ said Glendale Head Coach Victor Aquino. “My seniors wanted to score. In a game like this when it gets out of hand, it’s difficult to do the little things. The last time we played Muir it was 3-0 at the half and we won 6-0.’’

With one minute left before the intermission, it became 5-0 when Graham scored from 20 yards out.

Aquino is Glendale’s best player, and she made it 6-0 two minutes into the second half on a 10-yard kick.

Muir Head Coach Nelson Bustillos is frustrated because his team is winless in 16 games, and without a victory in 12 league matches. Bustillos is resigned Muir will always have a tough time landing skilled players.

“If she’s a good soccer player, she’s going to Pasadena or Marshall [Fundamental],” he said. “And if she’s good, she probably won’t try out for our team. You have to give the girls here a lot of credit because they’ve stuck it out when they could have quit.”

Muir didn’t get a legitimate shot on goal, and the squad lacks the basic skills such as passing the ball and playing defense. They’re willing to play hard and give the effort, but it takes more than that to win.

The Mustangs have played a few close matches most notably a 6-0 loss against Arcadia after trailing 1-0 at the half, and they lost to Hoover 3-2 and Burroughs 3-0.

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