The Millikan boys’ soccer team didn’t earn a corner kick on Friday afternoon against visiting Cabrillo until the final fifteen minutes of regulation. The Rams ended up earning five corner kicks in that span, and one of them gave the home team a point.
Cabrillo (13-1-3, 3-1-2) took the lead in the 10th minute, and Millikan (12-4-4, 2-1-3) equalized with ten minutes left to play. The Jaguars outshot the Rams 3-1 in the first half, but were outshot 8-4 in the second half.
“In the first half they had more energy than we did, and it showed,” Millikan coach Rod Petkovic said. “In the second half we played better and with more energy than they did.”
The Jaguars outshot the Rams 3-1 in the first half while enjoying the majority of possession in a hectic game on the bumpy natural surface at Millikan. In the 10th minute, Cabrillo senior Alexis Torres and freshman Enrique Temores played a smooth give-and-go play at the top of the 18-yard box. Torres finished cleanly into the far side netting with his left foot.
Cabrillo maintained its momentum early in the second half, but were outshot 8-4 after halftime because of how Millikan finished the game on the front foot. That’s how the Rams earned seven quality set pieces in the final 15 minutes.
“That’s just pressure creating opportunities,” Petkovic said. “Every time we play these guys it’s a tough game, and we got a point today against a quality team.”
That point came courtesy of Angel Morales. The senior captain was standing at the top of the box during one of those corner kicks, and when the ball was punched out, he was there to collect it with his chest and loop his shot over the defense for the equalizer. It’s only the second league goal allowed by Cabrillo this season.
“I was just talking to God and praying and I felt it before the corner kick,” Morales said. “The ball came to me and I just took my time with it and shot. We kept pushing forward, and we wanted it more at the end than they did.”
Millikan had the better chances to score a third goal in the final minutes, but Cabrillo goalkeeper Yancy Monterola made some clutch stops down the stretch. He and Millikan goalkeeper Max Hintz both had three saves in the game.
“We knew we needed the second goal,” Cabrillo coach Pat Noyes said. “They never quit and they’re always going to play until the end.”
This has been a three-game week for the league, and Cabrillo has had to play the other three of the top four teams. The Jaguars beat Poly on Monday, and played a 0-0 draw with Wilson on Wednesday.
“I didn’t feel like we looked unfit, we were just able to play hard today,” Noyes said. “I don’t think that’s the end of giving up points for anyone. Not for Wilson, for Millikan or for us.”
Millikan is hoping that the return of injured starters like Cameron Bedal and Zach Martin will push the Rams back up into the league title hunt.
“We just have to regroup next week,” Petkovic said. “I’m just looking forward to getting healthy. We haven’t played a single game with all 11 starters on the field.”
Millikan has won 10 of the last 11 league titles, and Cabrillo won the other one. The Jaguars haven’t beaten the Rams since the 2014-15 season, but this is the second consecutive draw in the rivalry.