Moore League Girls' Soccer

There are plenty of questions yet to be answered in Moore League girls’ soccer. Poly, Wilson and Millikan are in CIF Southern Section Division 1 where they were last year while Lakewood, Jordan, Cabrillo and Compton are all in division 2 despite not winning any playoff games beyond the wild card round.

“We’re happy to be in Division 2 but I don’t agree with the placement of the (lower) teams in our league,” Lakewood coach Scott Manson said. “Hopefully this is a step in the right direction.”

Wilson and Millikan are the league favorites on paper while defending champions Poly, who had a bye on Tuesday, rebuilds its program with a new coach and a fresh talent pool.

Poly seventeen-year coach Teri Collins was dismissed amid controversy in the offseason and new coach Chris Moraga has taken over for a program that graduated top NCAA prospects last season. Moraga was most recently an assistant coach at Whittier College and was selected for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America 30 under 30 program over the summer.

“This group is grasping new concepts very quickly,” Moraga said. “We want to play from the back, but if we have to go over the top we fortunately have the athletes to do so.”

Poly junior Emily Knous is one of the most talented players in CIF-SS and she will have to do a lot for the Jackrabbits. Moraga will likely play her in the middle and on top of a 4-3-3 formation. Senior Aaqila McLyn is also a top recruit and can play anywhere on the field. Senior Sarah Pilster will solidify the defense again in her fourth year starting on the back line. Poly reached the quarterfinals last season and finished league undefeated.

The Jackrabbits will be at the Mater Dei Invitational this weekend.

WILSON 10, COMPTON 0

Freshman Kristin Berry scored a hat trick for the Bruins who scored nine times in the first half on Tuesday in the league opener. Wilson junior Jena Diaz scored twice with two assists and senior Harmony Ntuk also scored two goals.

Wilson coach Dalton Kaufman is very excited about his team and their natural chemistry together. However, like most local teams, he’ll have to wait and see what his team really looks like when players with club commitments finish their fall season.

“I have a very cerebral team with a high soccer IQ,” Kaufman said. “This group has been through a lot and has a lot of wisdom.”

Senior defender and team captain Abby Ross will be the leader on defense in front of junior goalkeeper Briana Vasquez-Ortiz, who Kaufman thinks will be one of the best in the league.

LAKEWOOD 6, CABRILLO 0

Lancers goalkeeper Marissa Gonzalez recorded the clean sheet while Angie Lira, Erin Norris, Jordan Barber, Hannah Arcala, Cassandra Fraga and Katie Obregon all scored goals.

Lakewood has a smaller team this season but Manson thinks his group has some nice pieces to be competitive. Sisters Isa and Natalia Peres will be team captains with Natalia running the midfield.

MILLIKAN 5, JORDAN 1

Senior forward Gisselle Jimenez scored a brace for the Rams in this league victory. Millikan has its largest senior class in years and will lean on senior captains Madison DeMetropolis and Elise Padilla. Forward DeMetropolis led the team in assists last season and Padilla is the “workhorse” on defense, according to coach Tino Nunez.

“These seniors have developed in the program and I hope that experience pays off this season,” Nunez said.

THURSDAY

Moore League Girls’ Soccer, 3 p.m.

The second day of league action features three of the top four teams on the road. Defending league champions Poly will visit Jordan while Millikan travels to Cabrillo to take on the Jaguars. Lakewood will also be on the road at Compton.

JJ has covered Long Beach sports for more than a decade. He's written for multiple newspapers in Southern California, produced professional event videos and won numerous awards for his writing and community service.

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