Monday evening’s match-up came down to the wire between Millikan and Wilson, but the visiting Rams had just enough to hold off the Bruins for their first Moore League boys’ lacrosse win of the season. Millikan didn’t score in the final period, but held on for an exciting 7-6 victory on the road.
The Rams hit the scoreboard less than 30 seconds into the game on a goal from Nicholas Guzman, then doubled their lead on a goal from Ryan McLaughry just over a minute into the proceedings. Millikan would never surrender their lead, despite a ferocious late rally from the Bruins.
McLaughry scored a hat trick to lead the way for the Rams, while Guzman had a pair of first half goals and an assist. Bennet Hreschuk scored the final Millikan goal of the game with less than a minute to play in the third quarter.
“It’s nice to come out and get a win,” said McLaughry after his three-goal performance for the Rams. “I’m really proud of our guys. Our goalie Cooper (Robinson), I’m really proud of him, he made a couple clutch saves. We really ran the offense, which we weren’t able to do the last couple of weeks, and it’s nice to squeeze out a win here.”
Robinson was a key in that fourth quarter, organizing his defenders and holding off a late charge from the Bruins. He was credited with just four saves on the day, but one was a game-saver in the closing minutes on a terrific effort from Wilson’s Brock Cruz.
“I just tried to remain calm,” said Robinson after the game. “I just tried to call out where the ball was going, make sure guys were ready to slide, and just be ready for when the shot came. The defense just played well, we did what we were supposed to do today.”
Millikan was especially effective in limiting Wilson’s man-up opportunities. The Bruins were 0/4 when having an extra player on the attack, leaving some missed opportunities for Wilson that they’ll look to clean up before their next time out.
“We’re really even skill-wise, we’re just working on some of the finer points and some of the details,” said Wilson head coach Glenn Styron after the game. “We’re missing a lot of the little things. Our man up could be a lot better, our man down could be a little bit better. I thought our goalie play was outstanding. Noah (Bruce) was just a super, super goalie today. I was really proud of him.”
Bruce ended up with seven saves on the day, including four in the second period alone. The Wilson scoring was led by Mathias Valenzuela-Mier, who had a hat trick of his own. He scored Wilson’s final goal of the game with 5:12 left to play, pulling the Bruins within one at 7-6. Wilson also got a pair of first-quarter goals from Flynn Nulty and a long-range score from Ethan McMahon with just :05 left in the third quarter.
Both teams get rematches with Long Beach Poly in their next game. The Bruins host the Jackrabbits on Friday while Millikan heads to Poly next Monday. All games are scheduled for 4 p.m. this season.