Isabella Meyer hadn’t participated in a penalty kick shootout for Millikan until Wednesday night when she begged her coach for a chance, promised her teammates she wouldn’t let them down, and then delivered the performance of a lifetime.
After 100 scoreless minutes in the first round CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs, Meyer stopped the first three penalty kick shootout attempts from visiting La Mirada to push the Rams (14-6-7) into the second round of the top flight for the first time in school history.
“I knew the whole game that if this comes down to PKs I’m winning it for us,” Meyer said. “We practiced (PKs) yesterday and I just had that mentality.”
Millikan coach Tino Nunez had rotated three goalkeepers all season, and Meyer hadn’t been called on for penalty kicks. Nunez told her on Tuesday that she would get her chance if it came to that.
“When we went to it I just told her ‘Here’s your moment’,” he said. “All three?! That’s big time.”
Meyer knew she was going to her right when La Mirada senior Yvette Ochoa took the first shot of the shootout, and the sophomore pushed it wide.
“I was able to just step on and get into the zone,” Meyer said. “It’s all about stopping that first one. Once I got it I was set for the rest.”
Meyer also said she’s been good stopping PKs at the club level, and it showed again as she went down to stop the next two shots with relative ease. Junior Nicole Peckham, senior Olivia Tostado and freshman Josie English made the three PKs for Millikan.
“The girls really showed some fight,” Nunez said. “This is a great ride we’re on right now.”
Millikan won its first Moore League title since 1991 this season, and will host JSerra in the second round on Friday at 5 p.m.
Shots: LM 6-5
Fouls: MIL 13-10
Corners: MIL 3-1
Offsides: MIL 2-0