The premier Moore League girls’ soccer rivalry is back after a thrilling game on Tuesday night, and now Poly is alone atop the standings.
Long Beach Poly 3, Wilson 2
The Jackrabbits scored twice in the final eight minutes to comeback and beat the Bruins on the road. Poly junior Ania Cutler headed home the equalizer in the 72nd minute, and junior Sarah Santos scored the game-winner in the 78th minute.
“We talked about putting a stamp on this game and setting the tone for the season,” Poly first-year coach Anthony Perez said. “I think it’s just a matter of maintaining the vision. And the vision is to get the title back.”
Poly is coming off of a rough season while Wilson is trying to win its third consecutive league title, and a 13th in the last 17 years.
“That’s what this derby is all about,” Wilson coach Dalton Kaufman said. “Poly brought the intensity tonight and they bookended the game perfectly. I thought in the middle of the game we had more of the run of play. We just couldn’t put it away.”
In the fourth minute, sophomore Kelsey Adams’ low cross into the 18-yard box found senior Skylar Herrera and she gave Poly the lead with a clean finish.
Wilson responded with a pair of first-half goals from freshman Cade Mendoza and senior Hunter Richmond to take a 2-1 lead into halftime.
The second half got a lot more physical, much like the rivalry games theses programs have played in recent years, and Poly seemed more comfortable in confined spaces. There were five yellow cards handed out in the final 20 minutes.
“I thought we started out technical and they got the momentum going, then I think when it got physical we adapted and responded well,” Perez said. “We actually got energized from it.”
Poly scored both of its second-half goals off of set pieces. Junior Morgan King’s corner kick was easily headed home by Cutler.
“I feel like when our teammates get into something it motivates us because we’re such a cohesive team,” Cutler said. “I think that’s why we won because when we worked together that’s when we got out goals.”
One of the yellow card fouls set up the game-winning set piece as senior Ella Hiveley’s free kick service found Santos after a deflection.
“I saw a space between the front post and where the free kick was at,” Santos said. “Then the ball just ended up going into that space.”
Wilson outshot Poly 13-8, and earned seven corner kicks to Poly’s four.
“It’s a great lesson for our young team to learn that when you’re in a Poly game it’s a back ally fight and you just have to get in there and mix it up,” Kaufman said. “I didn’t think there was any dirty stuff going on, it was just physical. I hate the result, but I really like that game. All the credit to Poly. We can’t wait to play them again.”
Millikan 3, Lakewood 0
The Rams moved into second place in league with this Battle Of The Blueprint rivalry win at home. Karli Slater, Samy Sierra and Nicole Peckham all scored for Millikan. Goalkeepers Isabella Meyer and Savanna Alba combined for the shutout.
Jordan 4, Compton 3
Diana Godoy, Clarisa Carbajal, Susana Montoya and Cinthia Gutierrez all scored for the Panthers in this victory on the road.
Poly 6-0-0, 4-0-0 (12 points)
Millikan 6-5-1, 3-0-0 (9 points)
Wilson 5-2-2, 2-1-0 (6 points)
Lakewood 3-7-0, 2-3-0 (6 points)
Cabrillo 8-3-1, 1-2-1 (3 points)
Jordan 1-3-2, 1-2-1 (3 points)
Compton 2-7-0, 0-5 (0 points)