The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
The last time Wilson and Millikan girls’ lacrosse played it was a fight to the finish with the Bruins coming out on top 11-10. The rematch is today as the teams play for first place in the Moore League.
Millikan dominated the beginning of the half by winning almost every draw, putting a lot of pressure on Wilson’s defense. Two minutes into the game Cortes made the first shot, putting the Bruins up 1-0.
The Bruins did not let up, pressuring the Rams as Wilson captain Grace Littleworth scored two consecutive shots to widen their lead in the first ten minutes of the game. With a good combination of off-ball movement and crease rolls, they would force Millikan to take a time out with the score 3-0.
“We came in with great effort and I’m just proud of us and the effort we put in today to get our win,” said Wilson captain Cyan Fellows.
The Rams bounced back and creatively utilized their field space, passing clean, direct passes and cutting into the 8-meter to end the first half 3-5 Millikan.
“It was nerve racking when they came down towards me but I knew that defense had my back,” Millikan goalie Hailey Hartley said. “I was the last resort so if they came in, I was ready for them and what they had to offer.”
Millikan would carry the momentum during halftime as midfielder Carly Brenner drove across the field and single handedly made a low shot to score, only ten seconds after Finley Martin made her own goal. Wilson continued to play well, especially defense.
“We had to step up our defense towards the end,” Wilson coach Victor Escoto said. “We had a couple of players miss a couple of attackers, but we fixed a couple of things and really made it work in the last few minutes.”
It was an exhilarating ten minutes into halftime. At 9-10 Millikan, Brenner was able to tie the game when she received a pass from Delaney Haubert and made a low shot into the goal. She would miss the first time, but scored after the ball rolled back to her and she successfully swept it in to catch the Bruins off guard.
“A lot of teamwork and a lot of trust activities [helped us do well today],” Brenner said. “You have to be able to trust your players because when you’re able to work as a team, it works out really well. Also, basic catching and passing. It is essential to any lacrosse player.”
In the end, Wilson controlled the game. With Cortes scoring the final shot of the evening, defense was able to keep the Rams scoreless and top Millikan with a final score of 11-10.
“Our team fought the whole time,” Millikan coach Vanessa Humic said. “We got kind of close and then we fell back down a little bit but then we kept on going and we caught back up again, so it was an uphill fight the whole time. I’m very proud of my team.”
“With Long Beach Unified having a new lacrosse program within the last five to six years, these games can’t be any more important for the city,” Escoto said.