Two months later, Oakland Mills midfielder Mia Dammen still can taste the bitterness of her team's 2-1 loss -- the Scorpions' second of the season -- to the Severna Park girls soccer team.
"We dominated the game and then they got their little penalty kick in overtime, but that's OK," said Dammen, the Scorpions' second-leading scorer with 11 goals and eight assists. "The score didn't show how the game was played. Obviously, we have a score to settle with Severna Park."
And obviously, several Severna Park players think the Falcons, not the Scorpions, will have the final word.
"Mia's a very aggressive player and, hopefully, our defense will be tough enough not to let her talk get us upset or mad at ourselves," said Tina Riley, an All-County defender. "I feel we're a dominant team now and I can't wait for this game. I want to play Oakland Mills, very, very badly."
She will get her chance at 1 p.m. this Saturday as the top-seeded Falcons (15-0) meet the No. 2-seeded Scorpions (13-2) in the Class 4A/3A state championship game at Arundel High.
The game will feature two highly skilled and highly motivated teams in a match-up that boasts an extremely competitive history.
"There has never been more than a two-goal game and we've won the last two," said Severna Park coach Joyce Stefancik, whose Falcons lead the five-game series, 3-2, dating back to 1986. "We have the ability to play with excellent ball control, and we're going to have to play our best game.
Severna Park's Nicki Cecere's game-winning overtime penalty kick in the seventh minute broke the 1-1 tie in the first game. But the Scorpions have reeled off 13 consecutive victories to secure their fifth straight Howard County title since losing to the Falcons.
Oakland Mills won four Central Maryland girls soccer tournament titles playing in the Class 2A category before the tournament title officially became a state title last year.
Stefancik is putting her overall record of 120-28-3 on the line, excluding a 1-5 record in 1979 when she coached the Falcons as a club team in her first season. Her Falcons currently have a 45-0-1 streak -- including 39 straight victories -- outscoring their opponents 226-15 in that stretch.
The Falcons, considered two-time state champions, have rolled to a Class 4A Central Maryland girls soccer tournament title and to last year's Class 4A/3A state title.
Leading the way for the Falcons will be senior strikers Betsy Anderson (16 goals, five assists) and Michelle Cope (11, three).
Junior midfielders Cathi Hanson (seven goals, three assists) and Cecere (six, five), as well as sophomore striker Erin Wylde (five, three) and defender Emily Vandergrift (two goals) also can score.
Oakland Mills has earned a reputation for using overly aggressive tactics, at least among several Anne Arundel countians who witnessed the Scorpions' semifinal victory over Old Mill.
"I thought (the Old Mill game) was a well-played physical game," said Oakland Mills coach Cindy Odell, whose Scorpions lost in last year's state semifinal game, 2-1, to Harford County's C. Milton Wright.
"I don't excuse the pulling of shirts, the punching or cheap shots that were taken by either team. I thought the officials could have controlled the game more. But I don't think we were necessarily more physical than they were."
Stefancik said, "They have some fine players on their team, but they have a different style. They're very, very physical. Who knows whether we'll get an official who calls the game tightly or not, but I'm concerned with what happens off the ball. I know it's going to get done."
To that end, Stefancik has simulated this week's practices for a style she expects from the Scorpions this weekend.
"We've got our assistant coach (Colleen Corwell) pushing and shoving us around as we play," said Falcons keeper Tami Riley. "We're going to be very aware of that part of their game."
Tami Riley has allowed nine career goals with 32 career shutouts.
With nine shutouts, she'd like to get her 10th against the Scorpions.
"Oakland Mills got one by me the first game, but I just have to put it in my mind that no balls are going to get by me. No matter what," said Riley.
Scorpion senior Stephanie Magro (14 goals, five assists) would like nothing better than to foil Riley's day.
"We won the state title when I was a freshman and I'd like to go out on top as a senior," said Magro, who scored her team's goal in the first meeting between the two teams. "Losing to them came at a time where it put us on the low end of the totem pole. There's always been tension between our two teams and it would be the top of my season to beat them."