STORY BY MATT SIMON
Facing the same natural field conditions as last week’s Moore League opener at Millikan, the Long Beach Poly girls soccer team put its best foot forward on Thursday night at Lakewood. The Jackrabbits applied pressure from the opening touch and didn’t let off on their way to a 4-0 win.
“I think we made adjustments we needed to make earlier this week according to the terrain we played on,” Poly coach Anthony Perez said. “I think that’s one of the biggest things; players adjusting. A lot of these kids play on such nice surfaces and you just have to adjust not only your technical approach but also your tactics.”
Kelsey Adams gave the Jackrabbits an early lead when she split two defenders and scored a goal that was just out of the reach of Lakewood’s goalkeeper Danielle Beck.
Beck kept the Jackrabbits lead at 1-0 heading into the half with six saves.
In the second half, Mae Sila extended the lead when she scored on a cross from Sarah Eden in the 45th minute.
Poly seniors Morgan King and Aniah Cutler both scored goals from set pieces in the 53rd and 55th minute to give the Jackrabbits a commanding 4-0 lead.
“I think the biggest thing we realized is that we need to pressure together,” Cutler said. “This team is really easy to talk to, so once we all got on the same page we knew once one person pressures, we all need to match that energy.”
Lakewood wasn’t able to match the same defensive intensity in the second half as Poly extended the lead.
“We showed good soccer throughout,” Lakewood coach Luis Turcios said. “We showed we could be here and hang, but we made little mistakes and all of a sudden your head goes down and you’re done.”