Orozco leads Burroughs

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Aleah Orozco isn’t a dolphin, but the senior on the Burroughs High girls’ water polo team swims like one.

Orozco is the Indians’ leading scorer and was last Wednesday with a match-best four goals as host Burroughs beat Burbank 8-1 in a Pacific League clash.

Orozco knocked in the first three goals with the initial tally coming from point-blank range and 4:34 left in the opening quarter that slipped past goalie Suzy Misiryan, who had 10 saves.

With 1:32 remaining, Orozco’s three-footer with a handy assist from Camila Panozo gave the Indians a 2-0 advantage heading into the second period.

Orozco’s 18-footer with an assist from Brianna Meneses and 6:19 left in the second frame made it 3-0, but Burbank senior Michelle Morlock’s 12-footer and 3:16 left before the half saw the Bulldogs (6-14 and 2-4 in league) get within 3-1.

Orozco’s 10-foot goal with 2:17 remaining in the fourth period made it 8-1.

“When I look back on water polo I think about my team,’’ said Orozco, who won’t play water polo in college, but has applied to several elite universities including UC Berkeley, UCLA and Stanford. “We have a really good dynamic. We’ve been kind of unsure into the season, but as it’s progressed, we realize how strong we can become together. We have really high hopes.’’

Burroughs and Burbank will both compete in the league playoffs and at least the Indians will qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Panozo added two goals including a 12-foot loft on a pass from Orozco with 19 seconds left in the second for a 4-1 edge.

When Panozo scored after a long toss from goalie Emmanuella Nathan, who delivered 11 saves, on a 12-footer with 1:20 left in the third, the Indians (8-7 and 5-1 in league) darted ahead 6-1.

Meneses scored on a 14-footer with help from Jaelynn Bijasa and 4:33 left in the third for a 5-1 lead.

Bijasa’s 18-footer with help from Orozco made it 7-1 as 43 seconds remained in the third for a 7-1 cushion.

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The Sports Department Rick Assad has written about sports for the Pasadena Star-News and Los Angeles Times. Contact him at richsports5@sbcglobal.net.

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