Poly's Jocelyn Reist, left, races Wilson's Kristen Benavidez for possession of the ball. The Jackrabbits handed the Bruins their first Moore League loss since 2005.

(Jeff Gritchen/Staff Photographer)
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LONG BEACH - The Poly High girls soccer team on Tuesday afternoon pulled off what it couldn't do earlier in the season.

Heck, as a matter of fact, the Jackrabbits pulled off what no other Moore League team has been able to do in more than four-plus years.

Poly raced out to a quick three-goal lead and held on this time to hand rival Wilson a 3-2 loss - the Bruins' first in league play since Coach Jason Kirkwood took over the program in 2004-05.

The victory, a hard-fought, physical battle, avenged a stinging 2-1 loss for the

Poly's Emily Strombom leaps into the arms of Matti Sandoval as the Jackrabbits celebrate.

(Jeff Gritchen/Staff Photographer)
Jackrabbits, who led most of the way in the teams' first meeting on Jan. 7 but gave up two goals in the final 10 minutes.

There was no stirring last-minute comeback this time for No. 5 Wilson (15-3-3, 6-1-0), the defending Moore League, CIF Southern Section Division I, state and national champion. And that is a credit to Poly (14-2-4, 6-1-0).

"The team has really grown up this season," Jackrabbits coach Teri Collins said of the difference since the first meeting. "I kind of felt we beat them the first time but it didn't show up on the scoreboard. We beat them this time."

The teams are tied atop the league standings and are likely to be deadlocked at the end and finish as co-champs.

A coin flip would decide which team receives the league's No. 1 spot in the upcoming CIF-SS Division I playoffs.

"Give them lots of credit, they came to play," Kirkwood said. "They played us tough last time. It was bound to happen. We weren't able to pull ourself out of the tank like last time."

In the fifth minute, Wilson failed to clear out a corner kick and sophomore midfielder Alexis Leyba took advantage of the error to give Poly the lead.

Just two minutes later, junior midfielder Megan Brock took a centering pass from senior midfielder Allison Whalen and toed it in past Bruins senior goalkeeper Carly Farris to make it 2-0. At that point, Collins urged on her team, yelling, "That's not enough."

If how the first several minutes unfolded was surprising, it was electric when senior forward Kaisa Johnson made a little move and fired a shot into the net in the 10th minute to give the Jackrabbits a 3-0 lead.

Three shots, three goals.

"It was not surprising to me," Collins said of her team's quick lead. "People were asking me at school, `Are the girls fired up?' I had to fire down the girls for the game."

At that point, Kirkwood pulled Farris in favor of sophomore goalie Breegan Saller.

"The game was won in the first 15 minutes," Kirkwood said. "They kind of bum-rushed us. ... I just did it (change keepers) to do something different. I felt we needed to change the game somehow."

Wilson didn't record its first shot until the 34th minute, but sophomore midfielder Kim Albeno made it count, heading a corner kick behind Poly sophomore goalkeeper Corin Villasenor to make a 3-1 at halftime.

Wilson, which has won the past eight league titles, managed to get back in the game with a goal from junior forward Emily Dillon on a pass from junior midfielder Kaitlin Hellman in the 67th minute.