When South River and Arundel play in girls soccer, skill, intensity and drama are expected.
The past of couple seasons, overtime also has been featured more times than not.
In the teams' first meeting this season at South River on Wednesday, all the criteria were once again met. And it was the host Seahawks who had the hero in the end.
Senior forward Katherine Wray pounded home a rebound in front less than three minutes into overtime to lift No. 4 South River to a 3-2 win over No. 2 Arundel.
After Arundel senior forward Clarissa Kirsch-Downs tied the game at 2 midway through the second half and the Wildcats dominated much of the rest of the time in regulation, the Seahawks responded with an impressive overtime flurry.
The home team quickly earned two corner kicks and had an apparent game-winner cleared off the goal line by an alert Arundel defender, but stayed persistent. Wray was on the right side to finish off a rebound in front as the defending Class 4A state champion Seahawks celebrated wildly.
It's the third straight time South River has defeated Arundel. After the Wildcats claimed last year's regular-season game in overtime, the Seahawks beat them for the Anne Arundel County championship and then again in overtime, 3-2, in the East region title game.
South River, rebounding from a 3-2 upset loss to Broadneck on Monday, improved to 4-2 on the season, while Arundel fell to 4-1.
"We were pretty nervous going into overtime, but we knew if we just kept pushing we would get one in like last year," Wray said. "Hopefully, [the Wildcats] are keeping their heads up, because they played a good game. Honestly, it was 50-50. They had their chances and we had ours, and I'm just really lucky I got that one in. I just ran in and shot it, and I saw a girl there and was just thinking, 'I better make it, better make it.' I'm just really happy I did."
The Seahawks got a goal from senior forward Kacie Longo in the opening minute of the second half to break a 1-1 tie. Chances to add to the lead went for naught, though, and that enabled the Wildcats to regroup.
After Kirsch-Downs finished on a shot from 15 yards with 20:43 to play, Arundel controlled play but was unable to score the go-ahead goal. Kirsch-Downs was particularly dominant in the final 20 minutes, getting off two heavy shots that South River goalie Emily Proctor stopped.
"In these kind of games, it all comes down to heart," South River coach John Sis said. "And we didn't think we put enough heart into the game against Broadneck — they outplayed us. In overtime, the girls knew they had to lay it all out, and they did very well. They earned the two corners and were able to finish one, so we're very happy."
For the Wildcats, it was another strong performance against South River that produced another difficult result.
"They're hungry. They've got 24 hours to be disappointed and tearful, and then it's back to the drawing board tomorrow and going after what they really want, and that's states," Arundel coach Laura Coe said. "But they have a lot to be proud of — they earned every goal they got tonight."
4 South River 3, 2 Arundel 2, OT
Goals: A – Frost, Kirsch-Downs; SR – Berkowitz, Longo, Wray
Assists: A – Kirsch-Downs, Silva; SR – Wray
Saves: A – Dayton-Hegedus 7; SR – Proctor 5.
Half: 1-1Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun