Moore League Soccer

Two goals in the opening minutes of each half at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Thursday evening resulted in a 1-1 draw between Long Beach Poly (4-7-3, 3-1-3) and Wilson (9-5-2, 5-1-1)  that tightens up the Moore League race.

The other league draw between Millikan (11-4-4, 5-0-3) and Lakewood (11-4-3, 5-0-3) means the four teams still have a shot at a share of the title with rescheduled games coming up next week. Wilson travels to Lakewood on Monday to finish the first round of play.

“This is the way it should be,” Wilson coach Dalton Kaufman said of the closely contested league. “The teams are equal in a lot of ways and everyone gets a lot out of these games.”

Poly senior Aaqila Mclyn put the put her team ahead in the third minute with a one-touch finish off the volley thanks to a perfect cross from Sarah Pilster. The Jackrabbits outshot the Bruins 12-6 in the game but Wilson equalized on their only shot on goal in the first minute of the second half.

After a foul near midfield in the 41st minute, Lauren O’Malley’s free kick was slightly deflected in the air by the Poly backline. The inadvertent flick fell to the feet of Abby Ross who slotted it home. Ross scored the game-winner in the first game between these teams.

“Balls in the air are our kryptonite,” Poly coach Chris Moraga said. “I’m frustrated. These girls deserve more. We’re so close to being a very good team.”

The first half included near scores for both teams. Wilson was inches from a quick response in the first half when forward Harmony Ntuk dribbled a miss clearance into the box. Poly defender Alanah Cutler cleared the shot attempt off of the line. In the 24th minute, Poly senior Lauren Carroll put a wonder strike into the back of the net from outside the box but she was ruled offsides.

The second half was played at a more frantic pace with so much space available on the Vets field turf. Poly had more possession and scoring chances but Wilson goalkeeper Briana Vasquez-Ortiz made six comfortable saves. Poly goalkeeper Luz Lopez had two saves.

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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