Sometimes a tie is almost as good as a win for some teams.
Long Reach and Howard fought through two overtimes and 100 minutes of play before finishing with a 1-1 tie under the threatening skies at Howard Tuesday night. For Howard, it was a frustrating game, its third overtime game this season and its second tie.
For Long Reach, though, the tie could be a turning point in the Lightning's season.
This wasn't the only deadlocked game of the evening. Centennial and Atholton tied, 1-1, while River Hill, Mt. Hebron and Glenelg posted wins.
"We were ecstatic over there" on the sideline after the game, said Long Reach keeper Courtney Glasser. "You'd think we won the world cup or something. We were so happy.
"A lot of key players are out with injuries and to do this with what we have is really good," she added.
Glasser saved two penalty kicks and blocked several 1 v. 1 shots and was a huge part of Long Reach's performance. In the overtime periods she had four key plays to hold onto Long Reach's tie.
In the first minute of the first overtime, Glasser saved a penalty kick. Then, in the second extra period, she saved two 1 v. 1 shots from Kelsey Wright and followed that by saving another penalty kick, this one by Madison Barrow, with about five seconds left in the game.
"She was amazing," said Howard's Taylor Gant, who scored the game's first goal. "She blocked a lot of shots. I give her the best. She did a great job."
Gant, a left fullback, scored her first goal of the season barely four minutes into the game. It could have been the beginning of a big-scoring game, with Howard most likely favored to win.
"I think at the beginning a lot of people thought it was a gimme game, but you always have to stay focused," Gant said.
"I was hoping (my goal) would start off the team, excite everybody, and it did to a certain extent. We held them really well off the first half," she added.
But Long Reach's Kristen Fawole, entering the fifth game of the season with five goals to her credit, made it a half dozen nine minutes into the second half. Angelina Rebaza started the play with a corner kick, and the ball bounced around in front of the box.
"I touched the ball and it flew back to the goal. Ann (Bonner) headed it and it almost went in," said Fawole. "I could see the keeper advancing. I had the feeling if I just sat there nothing would happen."
So Fawole stepped up and got a good toe on the ball, putting it in the net.
"For our team, this was worth a lot," she said. "I don't think we've ever done this well against a Howard team."
The seniors … were particularly excited as they had experienced a tough 1-0 loss at home to Howard last year and really wanted to go out with a good result," said Long Reach coach Erik Sandersen.
"They just got that one goal and we spent the rest of the game trying to recover," said Gant. "That's what happens when you don't capitalize on those opportunities."
Howard is now 2-1-2 in the county, and Long Reach is 1-3-1. Long Reach's earlier win came over Hammond, which is winless in county play.
"As a coach, it was nice to come away with a tie given the fact that there were two missed PKs in the overtime. Overall, we were happy with the result, and I hope we can build on this to generate further success this season," said Sandersen.