The562’s coverage of water polo & swimming is sponsored by the Aquatic Capital of America Foundation.
The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Poly alum Jayon Brown and PlayFair Sports Management.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by JuJu Smith-Schuster and the JuJu Foundation.
The Moore League girls’ water polo match between Long Beach Poly and Millikan on Wednesday afternoon was a big test for both teams.
Millikan came away with an 8-5 win that moved the Rams into second place in league, but a close game for Poly meant much more than just a loss.
“We just played the top ranked team in Division 2 and we held them to eight goals and kept it pretty close,” Poly coach Ryan Rockenbach said after the game. “My big message coming out of this game for the team is that we have the ability to go far in our own division in CIF. It’s always great playing a league rival and the intensity is always up. I was pretty happy with their performance today.”
Poly got a pair of goals from junior Anna Mor and one apiece from Alyssa Greenwood, Ariel Cordova, and Leslie Vargas.
Millikan, the top ranked team in their division, jumped out to a 4-1 lead after the first quarter. Rams captain Jennine Osorio scored two of her four goals in the first quarter, adding one each in the second and third quarters.
“(Having her) is huge.” Millikan coach Jose Guzman said of Osorio. “She’s really positive, and that’s what keeps us going. Practicing four hours a day, six hours a day, it takes a toll. I think she’s doing a good job keeping them motivated. Even when things don’t go our way, (keeping each other motivated) is all we have to do.”
“I try my best to influence all of us, especially in practice,” Osorio said. “I try to push everybody to be their best because ultimately our goal is to win CIF. It’s great to lead this amazing group of girls. Everybody has individual talent that they really contribute to the team.”
Faye Garcia also scored for Millikan in the first quarter. The Rams’ senior-junior sister’s Avery and Larsen Jenson also found the back of the cage, with one goal from Avery and two from Larsen Jenson.
Guzman reflected after the game saying his team still has work to do if they want to be successful in the CIF Playoffs.
“Being League champions is not our goal,” Guzman said. “It’s doing well in CIF. If we win Moore League then fine, whatever. But, CIF is more important. It’s not just us, I want Poly to go far, Wilson to go far, all of the schools to go far because they all represent the Moore League very well.”
Rockenbach had a similar message after the game for his Jackrabbits as he believes this game puts his team headed in the right direction.
“I think this game tells us that we can be very competitive in CIF,” Rockenbach said. “We want to become the second Poly girls team to go past the first round this year and I think a game like this shows that we definitely can.”