The Millikan girls’ soccer team wasn’t happy with how they played in their first Moore League contest against Long Beach Poly. The two-time reigning league champs fell behind in that one and had to rely on two late goals to salvage a tie. Head coach Tino Nunez wanted them attacking from the beginning in their rematch against the Jackrabbits Tuesday, and that’s exactly what the Rams did in a 4-0 win that keeps the Moore League title race wide open.
“We talked about how we were flat and reacting, and I thought our energy from the start today was kind of that business mentality,” said Nunez. “Our girls responded, credit to them.”
Nunez told his team after the game that it was clear they’d wanted it more than Poly. The Rams’ gritty effort was personified by junior Danielle Paulson, who took an elbow to the nose early and came off the field with blood running down her face. Paulson quickly stopped the bleeding with some cotton, switched out of her bloodied undershirt and jersey into a fresh uniform, and got back into the game.
“Obviously we know she’s going to sacrifice her body, and once she did, it just let the girls know that they were ready, no matter what was going to happen,” said Nunez.
The offensive firepower was supplied early by senior Courtney Cummings, who scored in the third and ninth minutes to give the Rams an imposing lead, one they’d add to with a score from Hannah Marshall in the 40th minute and then a cherry on top by Alyssa Reyes late in the game.
“We knew that if we did what we did last time we’d lose,” said Cummings, a Brown commit. “So we wanted to have energy right away.”
Nunez praised his team’s toughness and grit in the win, but the path doesn’t get any easier for the Rams, who will play Wilson next week. Poly will face Wilson in two weeks in a final meeting of the city’s top three teams.