The562’s soccer coverage for the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Beach Futbol Club.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Poly alum Jayon Brown and PlayFair Sports Management.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by JuJu Smith-Schuster and the JuJu Foundation.
The562’s coverage of Cabrillo Athletics is sponsored by the Cohn Family.
Moore League play started with a bang on Wednesday night at Cabrillo, as super talented forward Martin Robles Ruiz put in an early candidate for goal of the year in the second minute, then doubled his tally just six minutes later as the host Jags defeated Long Beach Poly, 2-0.
It’s another game with multiple goals for Cabrillo, which has netted 35 goals in just nine games this season, good for a 7-1-1 record. The Jags have scored two goals or more in eight of those nine contests, and Robles Ruiz leads the way with now 13 of those goals.
“League play is about emotion and passion, and that first goal was just unbelievable,” said Cabrillo head coach Pat Noyes after the match. “And then to get the second goal is great, and at halftime we talked about trying to get the next goal, but also not wanting to give up the goal. So I thought we played a solid game overall.”
Robles Ruiz got a great early chance to score when Duane Baker was fouled along the left wing, giving him a free kick opportunity just outside the edge of the penalty area and about 15 yards from the end line. Robles Ruiz only had eyes for goal, curling in a right-footed shot into the far side netting for a terrific goal, making it 1-0 Jags in the 2nd minute.
His next goal came from the run of play in the 8th minute as he jumped on a deflected cross from Baker, moved it to his left foot and slotted his finish to the same side of the Poly goal.
“I don't know how to explain it,” said a happy Robles Ruiz after the match. “I’m happy we got the victory. We were working our ass off for this, we wanted to beat Poly, and it happened.”
That was all the offense the Jags would need on Wednesday night, but that didn’t stop them from relentlessly pursuing a third goal. Cabrillo outshot Poly in each half, finishing with a 10-5 edge overall.
“For me, I think we’ve got the best offense in the league,” Robles Ruiz said. “We’ve got (Nathan) Mosqueda who can score, we’ve got me, Javi (Palomares) could score, Duane, all of us could score. So yeah, we’ve just got a great offense. And we’ve got a great defense, too.”
Without some highlight saves from Poly goalie Amir Diaz-Espinoza, the Jags could’ve easily had another goal or two. Diaz-Espinoza made his best saves towards the end of the first half, doing his best to keep the Jackrabbits within striking distance.
Poly’s best opportunity came from Anner Aguilar, who unleashed a dangerous strike midway through the first half. Cabrillo goalie Ezra Salcido denied him with a nice save at full extension to preserve Cabrillo’s fourth clean sheet of the season and second on the trot.
“This team really gets along and when we don't have little cliques these kids can play,” Noyes said of his group, which is particularly tight-knit this season. “They come here and they play hard for themselves and they play hard for Cabrillo soccer.”
This was Cabrillo’s third victory over a higher-division team. The Division 3 Jags have now beaten Palos Verdes, El Rancho and Poly in the Division 1/2 grouping above them.
On the other sideline, Poly head coach Eric Leon is looking to cultivate some familiarity within his lineup, as he’s been forced to put different names in different places in the early stage of the year. He paid respect to Cabrillo’s performance, and knows his team will need to be better in order to compete for a league title.
“Cabrillo is a really good team, man,” said Leon after the match. “We knew that coming in, regardless of who they play, we know that they have quality here on the Westside, so we respect that. And it was clear for the first 40 minutes which team wanted it more, so we can't take that away from them. They did the job offensively, so their best defense today was their offense.”
Both teams face important games on Friday as Poly hosts Jordan at 7 p.m. and Cabrillo visits Millikan for a 5:15 p.m. start.