It was all too familiar Friday night: Arundel senior midfielder Aaron Snyder with the ball in his stick and the Wildcats playing their biggest rival, South River, in overtime.
Snyder scooped up a ground ball in the middle and put a shot past Seahawks goalie Charlie Palandati with 3.6 seconds left in the four-minute extra period to give No. 11 Arundel another thrilling, 7-6 win over the No. 14 Seahawks.
The last time the teams met, in last year's Anne Arundel County championship game, Snyder was the overtime hero and the final score was also 7-6.
"It feels amazing," Snyder said with a big grin. "Not as good as the county championship goal, but this was good. Same score — pretty crazy."
Following the game, Arundel coach Kevin Necessary was quick to say that the Wildcats had only played three games so far and that they would be back to practice at 9 a.m. Saturday — even though the character-building win made Arundel 3-0.
In a tightly-contested game, the Seahawks (2-1) rallied from a two-goal fourth quarter deficit to send the game into overtime when Brandon Senft scored with 58 seconds left in regulation.
South River had the ball down at the Wildcats' end for the first 3:40 of overtime, but whistled four shots high or wide before Arundel goalie Andrew Jones made his 12th and final save on Grant Maloof's shot with 20 seconds left.
The Wildcats raced down the field and the ball found its way to Snyder, who made the absolute most of the closing seconds.
"I was in the middle, and [a teammate] forced it to me," he said. "It was a bad pass, hit the ground, but it was good that it was a bad pass. They jumped on it, I was wide open behind them and scooped it up and put it over top the goalie and it went in."
Arundel got three first-half goal from Jake Lawson, took a 4-3 halftime lead and then got two goals from Jeremy Sullivan to help build a 6-4 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks, who got a two-goal, one-assist effort from Gunnar Schimoler, pulled within 6-5 on Andy Thomas' second goal with 10:09 to play before Senft finally tied the game late.
For Arundel, Jones was stellar in goal throughout to counter a strong performance from Palandati, who had eight saves for the Seahawks.
"It's always a great game playing South River, the neighborhood rivalry. We had the lead going into the fourth quarter, we blew it — they scored a couple goals — but we stuck together, we didn't get down and we came out in overtime and got the win," Jones said. "[In overtime,] it's tough being on defense for multiple minutes, especially in that type of pressure situation. But the defense held it down, kept their heads and we got the ball back with just enough time to get one in."
11 Arundel 7, 14 South River 6 (OT)
Goals: SR – Schimoler 2, Thomas 2, Mansur, Senft
A – Malamphy, Lawson 3, Sullivan 2, Anyder
Assists: SR – Senft, Ward, Schimoler;
A –Malamphy, Sullivan, Snyder, Haag .
Saves: SR – Palandati 8;
A – Jones 12.
Half: A, 4-3