Cabrillo Millikan Soccer

Boys’ Soccer: Millikan Holds Off Cabrillo For Win, Takes Over First Place

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 Cabrillo Athletics is sponsored by the Cohn Family.

The classic Moore League boys’ soccer rivalry between Millikan and Cabrillo didn’t disappoint on Thursday night.

Millikan scored three goals in the first half, and Cabrillo scored twice in the second half to make for some nervous moments late, but the Rams escaped with a 3-2 win on the road.

“It was very intense,” said Millikan’s Juan Vasquez, who scored the second goal. “The first half was completely ours, the second half could’ve been better, and we should’ve kept our heads for the clean sheet.”

The victory moves Millikan (10-4-5, 5-1-1) to the top of the Moore League table and two points clear of Cabrillo (4-2-2, 11-3-3) in second.

Tempers flared after the final whistle and both teams had to be separated near the Millikan bench before after a good amount of pushing and shoving.

“It looks bad for us, and Cabrillo, and we should’ve just kept our heads, take the three points and move on to the next game,” Vasquez said.

“They’re a passionate group that sticks up for each other so I’m happy about that, but I also think that when we win a game we’ve got to be a little bit smarter,” Millikan coach Jeff Schofield added.

The final statistics were odd considering the score as five goals came off 13 combined shots. Millikan outshot Cabrillo 8-5 in the game. The Rams committed more fouls 14-11, and the Jaguars had more corner kicks 4-2.

Millikan won the first meeting between these teams last month by scoring three times in the first half, and that happened again on Thursday night. The Rams got on the board in the second minute when Aaron De Leon found David Villanueva in front of goal for the one-touch finish.

The Rams doubled their lead in the 25th minute when Vasquez scored a cracking goal from about 30 yards out.

“I saw the ball come to me, took a touch and then I looked up for a second and saw the goal was open, I just took the shot,” Vasquez said. “Yesterday in practice it wasn’t looking good but I just decided to shoot and it went in. Coach just wants us to be the best as possible with our finishing.”

Schofield said he’s been incorporating more shots from distance into the Rams’ training sessions.

“We’ve been working on that in practice because we’ve got guys who can hit the ball well,” Schofield said. “In the start of the league season we scored off a lot of set pieces so we’re just looking to generate more goal scoring opportunities from the run of play and that’s one of them.”

Millikan used the same strategy again in the 31st minute when Juan Ramirez Escobedo’s shot from distance took a deflection and went in. The Rams only had three shots in the first half while limiting Cabrillo to one shot.

The Jaguars came out strong in the second half and Nathan Mosqueda met an errant ball at the back post to get Cabrillo on the board.

Millikan had a few gilt-edged opportunities to add another goal in the second half but couldn’t convert, and that opened the door for Cabrillo to counter attack. That’s exactly how they scored in the 57th minute when Javier Palomares slotted one home to make it 3-2.

Cabrillo had a few more shots at goal in the final 10 minutes but couldn’t hit the target again.

“We start so slow against them and I don’t know why, but I think this will actually make us stronger in the end,” Cabrillo coach Pat Noyes said. “Because of that second half I think we’re going to be fine. I told (the team) after that game that we can win every game in front of us going forward.”

Millikan travels to Wilson on Monday while Cabrillo hosts Compton.

Noyes said of the post-game fracas, “I think that stuff, if we get to play them in the playoffs, will matter.”

PHOTOS: Millikan vs. Cabrillo, Boys’ Soccer
JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.