Severna Park girls soccer coach Joyce Stefancik walked off the fieldof Chesapeake High School Stadium on Friday night feeling like the best team hadn't won.
But it hadn't lost either.
"I definitely think we dominated the game but the score doesn't show it," said Stefancik, whose squad battled Chesapeake to a 3-3 tie.
"But you can't take anything away from them. What'd they have, eight shots and three goals? The better team did not win that game but that's the way it is. I really couldn't ask for anything more from these girls."
With the draw, the Falcons (8-0-2 overall, 2-0-1 in the 4A Friendship Division) remained unbeaten with a 54-0-3 record, butthe numbers haven't been so lucky for Stefancik lately.
After all, she is in her 13th season.
And two games back, her Falcons tied South River, 1-1, ending their winning streak at 46. The three goals scored by the homestanding Cougars (9-0-1, 2-0-1) were nearly as manyas her squad had allowed in its previous games. The Falcons had outscored its previous opponents, 44-4, with five shutouts.
Her Falcons had outshot the Cougars, 20-9, in regulation -- holding them shotless in the first half -- but gave up all three goals within a seven-minute span in the last 12 minutes of regulation.
When the second overtime period was about to start, several Severna Park players had their heads buried in their hands, while the Cougars collectively were chanting, "We eat Falcon meat."
Stefancik was setting her watch tocount every second of the last stanza.
Witnessing the scene, one couldn't help thinking that time was running out on the metro area's second-ranked Falcons. That the sixth-ranked Cougars were about to knock them off.
"But until someone does," Chesapeake coach Lin Sullivan said, "they're still the best team. They'll be the best team until they lose. We just proved that we had a lot of heart, coming back."
The tying goal came with 3 minutes, 40 seconds left in regulation. Becky Thiele sent her corner kick to Jamie Long at the far post andthe sophomore midfield out-leaped three defenders for a header past keeper Alicia Conine.
"I just went to the pole and it came in good," said Long, who raised her total to six goals. "There were three players and the goalie and I had to jump over them. But it was a good kick."
"They lucked out on that corner," Stefancik said.
Hey, itis Sullivan's seventh season.
Senior keeper Cindy Herbert (17 saves) recovered from a first half in which she was duped several times by her charging adversaries.
"The Long kicks really worried me. They really didn't penetrate from the wings too much," said Herbert, who has six shutouts. "I was drifting out too far at first and that's how they got their first goal, chipping it over my head."
That's exactly how Amy Carnaggio scored her fourth goal of the season with 10:38 left in the first half. When Stephanie Roberts' blast caromed off a defender to Carnaggio on the left, the junior midfielder banged a downward curling volley in over Herbert's outstretched hands.
Eightminutes into the second half, Roberts (11 goals, seven assists) headed Niki Cecere's corner kick past Herbert from point-blank range.
It was 2-0, and the Cougars were playing so flatly that assistant coach Dennis Thiele once yelled, "Come on, guys, you're standing around like statues."
But with 11:45 left in regulation, the littlest andspeediest Cougar -- 5-foot-7 freshman Melissa Wagner -- ignited her squad. She beat several defenders to a through ball from the middle and beat Conine with her fourth goal of the year, inside the left-handpost.
Not even Niki Cecere's 12th goal of the year -- a penalty kick 30 seconds later for a 3-1 lead -- could stop the stampede that followed.
The Cougars' Stacey Necessary collected a loose ball after a melee before the Severna Park goal and booted in her eighth goal with 6:22 left.
"I didn't think the game was over yet. We had a lot of time," Wagner said.
"After that goal, everybody was really upand we were just very intense."