None of the players on the Millikan girls’ soccer team were alive the last time the Rams won the Moore League championship, a shared title in 1991. In fact, the last time they won the league title by themselves, their head coach was just a baby–it was 1985.
Thanks to a 1-1 draw with Long Beach Poly on Thursday evening during a merciful break in the rainy weather, the Rams are Moore League champions this year after an undefeated 9-0-3 league season.
“I can’t even put it into words,” said Rams coach Tino Nunez, who was an All-CIF soccer player at Millikan on the Rams’ 2001 CIF championship team. “I’m a Ram, to do something like this at your school, it means so much.”
Millikan got the goal they needed early, as Samy Sierra dribbled the ball of the back line and fed Karli Slater, who netted it just 51 seconds into the game. Poly would rally furiously in the second half, outshooting the Rams 12-2 and eventually equalizing on a header by Allanah Cutler, on a corner kick from Morgan King.
“We had to survive the second half,” said Nunez.
The Rams had been one win short of the league title for three years, but Nunez told his team he knew they’d be the ones to change their fortune.
“I’ve been telling you guys all year, if any team was going to do it, it was going to be you,” Nunez told his squad after the game.
When the final whistle blew, the team sprinted onto the field for a big celebration, which included a bucket of water going onto Nunez.
“We wanted to win this for each other and for Tino,” said Millikan defender Emily Barham. “He means so much to all of us. I thought I was done with soccer but he brought back my love of the game. I’m wearing his number (9) on my back right now.”
For Slater, the win was the culmination of a year of hard work.
“This team has been through so much, we wanted this so bad,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of injuries and a lot of adversity this year, but we won.”
Millikan, Poly, Wilson, and Lakewood will await the CIF-SS playoff brackets, which will be released Saturday at 11 a.m. We will have live updates as they’re released.
GIRLS SOCCER FINAL STANDINGS
Millikan – 30 Points (9-0-3)
Poly – 29 Points (9-1-2)
Wilson – 25 Points (7-1-4)
Lakewood – 19 Points (6-5-1)
Cabrillo – 10 Points (3-8-1)
Jordan – 7 Points (2-9-1)
Compton – 0 Points (0-12-0)