Behind a dozen saves from sophomore goalkeeper Gavin Pool-Harris and a well-taken goal from senior Alan Cornejo, the Wilson Bruins went to the top of the Moore League table with a gutsy 1-0 win at Millikan on Thursday night.
“I don’t know what our defense could have done better,” said Wilson head coach CJ Brewer after the win. “Gavin’s made zero mistakes this season, and that’s a lot to ask from a sophomore. But I feel like he’s the best keeper that we’ve seen in the high school level around here. So we’re excited for the next two and a half years with him. He was key to our win tonight, along with our defense, they all played so well together.”
Millikan had the lion’s share of possession and chances on their home pitch, outshooting their visitors 7-1 in the first half and 15-5 for the game. Senior Jesus Moreno had five shots on goal to lead the way for the Rams’ attack, followed by four shot attempts from forward Isaac Chavez.
“I thought we created enough chances to score goals,” said first-year Millikan coach Jeff Schofield. “We just kind of were lacking a little bit in that final third with the quality of either the shot, the finish or the final pass.”
The Rams found themselves behind early in the second half as a long throw in from Cole Worden made its way through the Millikan penalty area to find Alan Cornejo at the back post. The senior played the ball off his chest and sent a volley past Millikan goalkeeper Michael Schoen and into the back of the net.
“It’s just a good feeling scoring the winning goal in a rivalry match, because this is a rivalry, Wilson versus Millikan,” said Cornejo. “It feels good to finally get a win over them at their home, take the two points, and we’re at the top of the table at the moment.”
Cornejo’s strike was Wilson’s only shot on goal, meanwhile the Rams continued to pepper the box and ask questions of Pool-Harris in goal. The sophomore came up big every time to rack up 12 saves and keep another clean sheet.
“I just wanted to win really bad because they’re our rivals, them and Poly,” said Pool-Harris, who has only surrendered one goal in seven games this season. “We came out and performed all night. I couldn’t have done it without my center backs Javier (Mota-Villegas) and Beck (Peterson), and the rest of the team just did a great job tonight.”
Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday, with Wilson hosting Compton at 3 p.m. while Millikan will head to Jordan for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff.