ORLANDO Two minutes after the Lake Nona Lions had tied the score of the FHSAA Boys Water Polo First Round Play-In Game at 8-8, Olympia's Mario Lliev scored a go-ahead goal with 3:20 to play and the Titans (21-7) held on for the 9-8 victory.
The thrilling victory advances Olympia's boys program to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2013.
"I am really, really proud of how they held it together today," head coach Stephanie Johnson-Possell said.
Jack Hyler led the Titans with five goals, two assists and a steal. Alec Johnson contributed seven steals, two scores and an assist and Ori Scanlon amassed 13 saves in goal to pair with four steals.
Unlike the school's senior-heavy girls team, which was state runner-up in 2016 and came into this season with title hopes, the Titans boys team's run has been a pleasant surprise for a team that regularly has freshmen and sophomores in its rotation.
"We graduated a class of seven boys last year," Johnson-Possell said. "Our boys have just grown and grown. They have grown in leaps and bounds this year. They've exceeded all of my expectations and I couldn't be prouder of them."
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].