Millikan was one minute away from going to its second CIF Southern Section Division 1 penalty kick shootout in three days at home on Friday night, but a 99th minute JSerra goal in double overtime ended this historic Rams season.
“Taking JSerra to double overtime, who thought that? No one,” Millikan coach Tino Nunez said. “We were so close and I’m very proud of this group. They’re a special group. These are memories they will take with them for the rest of their lives.”
Millikan won it’s first CIF-SS Division 1 playoff game in school history on Wednesday against La Mirada, and won its first Moore League championship since 1991.
“It’s been a great ride,” Nunez said. “I was trying to talk to the girls after the game but it was hard to. It’s emotional taking a program from what it was to where it’s at now.”
Millikan battled the highly-touted JSerra squad full of club players as center back Emily Barham set the tone early with a few hard tackles on striker Izzy D’Aquila. She only got one clear shot across the face of goal in the 10th minute, but her second shot was the 43rd minute goal that gave the Lions the lead.
“I thought we came in with a good game plan,” Nunez said. “We knew exactly what they were looking to do and who they were looking for.”
JSerra had more scoring chances in the rest of regulation, but Millikan capitalized on its only chance of the night in the 70th minute when a free kick from midfield fell in the middle of the 18-yard box. JSerra goalkeeper Ryan Campbell came up with three straight stops on rebounds before a deflection went off of Samy Sierra head and into goal for the equalizer.
Both overtime periods were relatively even as both teams traded fouls, and the game-winning goal came off of a free kick just a minute before a PK shootout. In the 99th minute, Rachel Bastone poked home a loose ball in front of the Millikan goal to end the Rams’ season.
“I’m proud, but sad,” Barham said. “I wanted to win for my city. I have pride for where I come from, and in this school, and I finally found somewhere I could be an asset. I love these girls.”