STORY AND VIDEO BY MATT SIMON
After winning its second straight Moore League title, the Millikan girls soccer team found itself hosting a familiar opponent, JSerra, in the opening round of the CIF Division 1 playoffs.
Facing the Lions (14-5-1) for the third time in five years, the Rams (14-4) faced the task of knocking out a team that has ended their season the last two times the teams met.
The task proved to be too much as the Rams fell to JSerra 4-0 Thursday afternoon.
Early in the contest, it became clear Millikan faced a tall climb as JSerra took a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute.
The Rams struggled to keep possession and JSerra took advantage when Keilani Caster found the back of the net to take a 2-0 lead in the 19th minute.
“You go down early and you go down often, it’s going to be hard to get out of that hole,” Millikan coach Tino Nunez said.
That hole widened as JSerra took a 4-0 lead after goals from Abby Lynch and Isabella Beltran.
At halftime, the Rams didn’t have a shot on goal as the Lions’ aggressive defense kept Millikan’s scorers at bay.
“The girls were a little nervous before this one,” JSerra coach Greg Baker said. “We’ve had some injuries this season that some girls are still dealing with. But we were as close to as healthy as we’ve been and we’re tough when we’re healthy.”
Millikan had a couple opportunities in the second half, but JSerra’s goalkeeper Ryan Campbell stopped any shot on her way to eight saves.