Dsc 0376a
Long Beach Poly Soccer Wilson

Girls’ Soccer: Wilson Wins Second Place Showdown With Long Beach Poly

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

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly is sponsored by Bryson Financial

After the Senior Night celebration, and before the opening whistle of their Moore League girls’ soccer clash with Long Beach Poly, Wilson senior captain Cindy Norfles made sure her team was mentally prepared.

“The energy was there during warmups, I made sure of that,” Norfles said. “We definitely mess around a lot, we’re a really goofy team, but I made sure everyone was in check. I was not going to lose this game.”

Not only did Norfles score the only goal of the game, the center back also helped Wilson limit Long Beach Poly to just a pair of shots on goal in a 1-0 victory. The Bruins (7-5-2, 6-1-0) takes over second place in the Moore League with the win while Long Beach Poly (5-7-0, 5-2-0) falls into third place.

“We knew going into this game that it was a must win because we want Moore league back,” Norfles said. “We knew what we needed to bring to the table to do it.”

Usually, the team with stronger convictions wins a heated rivalry like this one, and that was the case again on Tuesday night. Wilson defended its lead in the second half by pressing Long Beach Poly without the ball while keeping numbers forward instead of sitting back and absorbing Jackrabbit pressure.

“The energy, the press, the commitment and the team work was there tonight, and that was kind of what was lacking (early in the season),” Wilson coach Brian Irvin said. “Hopefully we can build on that.”

https://givebutter.com/562subscribe

Wilson ended up outshooting Poly 10-4 in the game, but the first shot of the contest didn’t come until the 25th minute when the Bruins earned their second corner kick. Wilson’s Citlalli Sarahi Sanchez put her service into the middle of the six-yard box where Norfles met it with her head for the strong opening salvo.

“We practice it a lot, the ball always goes there and it’s always me and (Sarahi Sanchez),” Norfles said. “As soon as I saw she was taking it I was like, ‘I’m just going to get here, if it goes over it goes over,’ but luckily I got a head on it.”

Wilson pushed for a second and Sarahi Sanchez had a pair of shots miss the target before halftime. Poly’s Leah Salas nearly equalized in the 40th minute with a bicycle kick attempt that was saved by Wilson goalkeeper Stella Riera. She only needed two saves for the clean sheet.

Wilson senior midfielders Brooke Karatsu-Boteilho and Kate Eckenrode inspired the Bruins with their hustle throughout the second half while protecting the lead with possession. They each finished with a team-high three shots.

Poly only had one shot one target in the second half from midfielder Malayah Nuestro.

“We had a bunch of gaps in the beginning, but (our) coaches helped us close that down fast,” Norfles said. “It’s a lot easier (to defend the lead when the team is pressing the opponent). I think our forwards did a great job, and so did our midfield, we were here for it. It’s a lot easier to define if everyone is in it.”

Norfles came out wide to clear a few Poly chances down the stretch.

“She’s a special player, when she’s focused and into it she’s the defensive player of the year,” Irvin said. “Then she can also get a goal for us and that’s how special she is. We always want leaders to lead by example. She shows by her play. We feed off of that, for sure.”

Wilson still has a two games left against first-place Millikan. The first game in December was postponed due to inclement weather. That game is yet to be rescheduled. The Bruins are already scheduled to host the Rams (Jan. 30) on the last day of the regular season.

VIDEO: Wilson vs. Long Beach Poly, Girls’ Soccer
PHOTOS: Long Beach Poly vs. Wilson, Girls’ 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.
http://The562.org