The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
In unseasonably warm conditions on Thursday afternoon, the Wilson girls’ lacrosse team was firing on all cylinders during a 13-2 win over rivals Long Beach Poly. The Bruins got five goals apiece from Tatiana Cortes and Angie Medrano to improve to 4-0 in Moore League play this season.
“In the last few weeks, we’ve made some amazing adjustments on defense,” said Wilson head coach Vic Escoto. “Those adjustments have kept the ball on their side of the field and not on ours. I’m so happy with the team right now. We are still progressing as far as the game of lacrosse goes, and every day they get better and better. I’m so happy with them right now.”
Medrano helped Wilson get off to a hot start offensively, scoring the first two goals for the Bruins and four of their first six. Getting off to a strong start was key for the visitors and helped them settle into the game amid temperatures in the mid-90’s.
“It feels good, especially knowing how hot it was today,” said Medrano of helping her team take the early lead. “Knowing that we got a head start, it felt good. I know my teammates got really excited and that’s what matters. You want to get the team all hyped up to push until the end.”
The Bruins made sure they were in control going into halftime, ending the first half on a 7-0 scoring run to lead 11-2 at intermission. Cortes scored the last three goals of the opening period and had all five of her goals in that first half.
“I think the first thing that really helped was communication,” said Cortes on what made it a successful performance for the Bruins. “And I think our ambition and determination to keep pushing. As a team, I feel like we all work really hard. Sometimes things aren't gonna go our way, but today I feel like everyone kept pushing and were really determined to keep going. I feel like that really worked for us as a team.”
Poly was able to pull back a few goals thanks to some terrific runs from Juliette Amara. Her goal with 17:46 left in the first half tied up the score, 1-1, and she also pulled Poly to within two with her second goal of the day. Defensively, Jackrabbit goalie Sofie Allen tallied 13 saves on the afternoon.
“I thought everyone put in a lot of effort,” said Poly head coach Leslie Saito-Waddles of her team’s performance. “We were able to switch players in and out of the game a lot and I’m really proud of the way they played.”
Other goal scorers for Wilson were Kendall Bostre, defensive captain Cyan Fellows, and Celeste Aguilar. Coach Escoto praised Fellows’ leadership on the defensive side of the field, where Wilson’s pressure limited Poly’s scoring chances.
The Bruins remain in the driver’s seat for a Moore League title but have a very big obstacle left next week. Wilson will host Millikan on Tuesday, and a win would clinch at least a share of the league championship.
When asked how high the team’s confidence was following another victory, Cortes gave a quick answer.
“Not to get too cocky but, on a scale of 1-10 … 11,” she stated. “I feel like we're working really hard and we're on this undefeated streak right now. I think we have a really good chance and I think if we keep working hard and keep putting in 110% at all times on and off the field, then we’ve got this in the bag.”
The start time for Tuesday’s showdown with Millikan is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at Wilson.