Millikan Water Polo

CIF Water Polo: More Millikan Magic For Rams In Overtime Win

The Millikan magic hasn’t worn out yet.

The Rams girls’ water polo team made the CIF-SS Division 4 quarterfinals thanks to a thrilling come-from-behind overtime win in the second round against Northwood. Millikan trailed 10-7 with 3:30 in the game but was able to claw back and tie it, then win it in overtime 13-11 thanks to the heroics of Melanie Flores and Jennine Osorio.

The Rams will travel to Yucaipa for the quarterfinals on Saturday.

“Even when we were down, I never gave up,” said Millikan coach Jose Guzman. “Our whole season has been about never giving up, no matter the odds. Even if we’re down, just keep playing like it’s 0-0.”

Millikan fell behind 8-5 in the third quarter  and trailed for almost the entire game. After a pair of long shots found the back of the cage for Northwood in the fourth quarter, the Rams were on the ropes, trailing 10-7 with 3:30 left in the game.

Emma Robertson stopped the bleeding with her second goal of the game, then Osorio scored on a penalty shot with 1:14 left in regulation. Flores was the hero in regulation, tying the game with 24 seconds left on a perfect lob shot over the Northwood goalie.

“It felt good when I let it go, I was just thinking ‘Please, please go in,'” she said after the game.

Once in overtime, Millikan got a huge performance from Osorio, who scored the first two goals of extra time to put the Rams up 12-10. They hung on for the 13-11 win after an insurance goal from Flores.

The Rams celebrated in their home pool after the final buzzer went off.

“It was just relief,” said Osorio. “It was so much pressure. This was pretty great having a big crowd and such an exciting game.”

Osorio finished with four goals, and Flores had three to help lead Millikan to the win.

VIDEO: Millikan vs. Northwood CIF Water Polo

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.