Both Long Beach Poly and Millikan boys’ soccer desperately needed a win on Friday, but neither of them got what they wanted in a scoreless draw. The Jackrabbits and Rams missed an opportunity to get closer to first-place Wilson in the standings with a week left in the regular season.
“That felt like a loss even though we played well,” Poly coach Eric Leon said. “This was our opportunity to stay in the title hunt.”
Poly (7-1-3) is currently first place with 24 points, but Wilson is second (7-0-2) with 23 points and two games in hand. Millikan (5-2-1) is third with 16 points.
“I’m proud of our performance and I think we played well enough to win the game,” Leon said. “We missed a lot of chances.”
The Jackrabbits outshot their hosts 13-7 and put six shots on goal, but Millikan goalkeepers Byron Hernandez and Riley Caberles kept the clean sheet. Poly goalkeeper Amir Diaz Espinoza only needed to make two saves for his clean sheet.
“I was actually surprised there were no goals,” Millikan coach Jeff Schofield said. “It was pretty intense and I thought we were in for a high scoring game. It’s a testament to the kids for working hard and competing. These games are always going to be close. Every game we’ve played is close.”
There was only one shot in the first 13 minutes and only half chances to score until the second half.
In the 46th minute, Poly put a shot on goal but Millikan defender Connor McCoy cleared it off the line.
There was a stretch of chances for both teams just after the hour mark. Millikan forward David Villanueva had a pair of shots go off the crossbar. Poly forwards David Huerta and Omar Juarez teamed up for a give-and-go in the 18-yard box but Caberles made the point-blank save.
Millikan had three corner kicks in the first half, and Poly had four in the second half.
There were less than 20 combined fouls and only one yellow card.
Millikan hosts Compton on Monday. Poly visits Cabrillo on Wednesday.