Heading toward the goal
The Half Moon Bay High School girls varsity soccer team is still finding its footing this season. August Howell / Review

Defensive rotations proved to be the difference in Half Moon Bay’s second girls varsity soccer league game of the 2020 season last week. Mills (5-5) outplayed Half Moon Bay (2-6-1) with a stellar first half, winning 3-0 at Jim Cox Field in Millbrae on Thursday evening. 

Fans didn’t have to wait long for scoring. Mills scored a barrage of three goals in quick succession. The first goal came in the 21st minute, and the second was set up by a corner kick three minutes later.

The final goal came just a few minutes later, when a Mills attacker baited the Cougars’ goalie out of the box, then crossed her over to set up a wide-open net. Mills led, 3-0, for the remainder of the game. 

Cougars head coach Sonny Day watched as Mills picked apart the Cougars’ zone defense with deft passes in the first half. 

“We’re supposed to have numerical advantage defensively, but what happened is they broke down our outside back, then our center back went,” Day explained. “That zonal defense broke down too quickly with not fast enough rotations.”

Half Moon Bay’s team is largely composed of seniors and freshmen, which can make for challenging situations during games. That lack of collective playing experience was clear on Thursday evening.

Day expects there to be changes to the rotations. He referenced the team’s 1-1 tie against Freemont, in which he moved a few senior players around. 

“They were breaking out zone defense and our backline,” Day said. “We have some new players and they’re trying to get used to playing in this system.”

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