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.
It’s apropos that their final game of the season was scoreless, but a historic campaign came to a disappointing end for Millikan girls’ soccer on Wednesday as the Rams failed to advance past the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.
Millikan and visiting Oaks Christian played to a 0-0 draw including two overtime periods before the Lions won the resulting penalty kick shootout 2-0 to advance. They’ll face top-seed Corona Santiago on Friday.
The Rams (16-4-4) didn’t give up a goal while going undefeated in the Moore League this season, and was again stingy on defense despite being short handed on Wednesday, however they were unable to convert on four penalty kick opportunities in the shootout.
“This one hurts,” Millikan coach Tino Nunez said. “Being at home, believing you had a good chance… I’m proud of all of the girls. It’s hard to look (at the whole season) because of how much this one hurts right now.”
Millikan was without the full services of multiple regular starters because of an illness that worked its way through the Rams ranks this week, but they still opened the game on the front foot and outshot Oaks Christian 6-2 in the first half.
Sierra Sythe had the best chance to get the Rams on the scoreboard in the 11th minute, but her shot from a tight angle was saved by Oaks Christian goalkeeper Hannah Wieler. She had four saves in the game, and stopped a pair of penalty kicks in the shootout.
Oaks Christian adjusted its shape a bit and was the better team after halftime. The Lions outshot the Rams 8-3 in the second half, and 5-0 in both 10-minute overtime periods before PKs.
“We felt good going into halftime where we just needed to convert one chance, but in the second half it was surviving,” Nunez said. “Their movement in their shape was hard to mark because players were tucking in and dropping. But even though we played one of our worst second halves, and overtimes, we still held it for the clean sheet. Then PKs are just PKs.”
Oaks Christian converted on its first two PK attempts while Millikan missed its first four, and that was enough to carry the Lions though in the best-of-five PK format.
“We did play a little tense today and that goes into those crucial moments when you’re stepping up to the PK spot,” Nunez said.
This is the first time since 2020 that Millikan didn’t win its Division 1 first round game.