Millikan Soccer Wilson

Girls’ Soccer: Millikan Wins 1-0 at Wilson, Stays Atop Moore League

The562’s soccer coverage for the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Beach Futbol Club.

The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.

It’s safe to say things haven’t gone exactly to plan for the Millikan Rams (8-2-2) this season, but you wouldn’t know it from the results.

Missing a handful of starters on Thursday evening, the Rams endured a feisty battle against Wilson (6-4), securing a 1-0 victory to take a commanding lead over the Moore League entering Winter Break.

“I feel like I’m changing lineups every game, whether players are unavailable, or they’re sick, or out of town,” said Millikan coach Tino Nunez after the match. “And people have stepped up every time that’s been the case. When their number is called, they’ve stepped up and done a good job. And the group is cheering each other on no matter what the role they take on. So I’m just proud of how they’re approaching these games.”

The Rams were able to secure the victory thanks to a crucial touch from senior captain Sydney Trump, who scored the game-winner mere seconds into the second half. After Bela Menes played in Hannah Marshall along the right wing, the speedy senior wing sent in a low cross towards the box, where all it needed was a slight touch from Trump to direct it past Wilson goalie Olivia Herrera and into the back of the net.

“Honestly, for me it’s like a blur,” said Trump of her game-winner. “Hannah crossed the ball, and I was just trying to get a touch. I got in front of the defender and stuck my leg out hoping it would go in. Then everybody started running at me and I was like ‘Let’s go!’ It was so exciting. I was just really happy I got that in.”

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The Rams were playing without a handful of starters at every level, including senior goalkeeper Jordan Mendoza. Even with the different lineup, the Rams were able to keep a clean sheet while outshooting the host Bruins, 11-6. Trump nearly scored in the 6th minute, but a great reaction from Herrera (5 saves) pushed the ball off the crossbar and over the goal.

From the outset, there was a high level of intensity from both teams, which only grew as the match wore on. The teams combined for 20 fouls and five yellow cards throughout the match, with heavy challenges and plenty of pushing and shoving throughout. 

“We continue to talk about how emotional these games are,” said Nunez. “You don't want to go on this roller coaster of a game with highs and lows, you want to try to keep that balance. But, the girls continue to show that maturity and that they can handle that kind of game, whatever the game presents.”

While the Rams generated more chances, Wilson did have a few looks at goal. Standout freshman Zoie Fontenot had a couple shots in the first half, including a threatening strike into the side netting with the final kick of the first half. A header from Eleni Voulgaris was the most dangerous Wilson attack on frame off a late corner kick, but was handled by Millikan’s fill-in goalkeeper, Savannah Dorsey, who made three saves on the night.

The Rams have recorded clean sheets in all five of their Moore League games so far, including road wins over rivals Poly and Wilson. They’ve conceded just four goals total this season across their 12 matches.

“Savannah deserves having that spot on varsity because of her commitment. She's always reliable,” said Nunez of his sophomore keeper, while praising his team’s defending at all levels. “I think the overall defensive mindset as a unit has really set the tone, starting from our frontline. I think as a collective, we've done a great job doing the dirty work. If you want to win a championship, you’ve got to do the dirty work and you’ve got to defend. So I'm proud of the group so far. We’ve still got a long way to go, but it's a good way to start.”

The Rams will compete in a tournament just after Christmas before returning to league play on Jan. 10 against Jordan. Wilson is back in action that same day hosting Compton.

VIDEO: Millikan vs Wilson Girls’ Soccer
PHOTOS: Millikan vs Wilson Girls’ Soccer
Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.