For coaches Lisa Howe and Jerry Raab, it was better than kissing their brothers.
St. Mary's Howe and Chesapeake's Raab each found merit in their teams' scoreless tie yesterday after a 70-minute struggle. Officials prohibited the customary second 10-minute overtime period because of darkness.
In battling to its third 0-0 tie of the season, unranked St. Mary's (6-1-3) took pride in keeping the No. 13 Cougars scoreless.
"I'm really pleased," Howe said. "We were the underdog, but we might have won if there had been a second overtime because of our depth.
"We scrimmaged them in the preseason and didn't do nearly as well as we did today. It was like a moral victory. I'm pleased with our play, if not totally with the score."
Chesapeake (6-1-1) was coming off its first loss of the season, to No. 1 Severna Park last Thursday. Until then, no one had scored against them.
Despite that defeat, the Cougars entered yesterday's game with what Raab described as a "positive attitude" and a determination to step up their reaction time in pursuit of the ball. They were noticeably slow against Severna Park.
"The girls didn't always react," she said. "They watched, like they were in awe" of Severna Park.
Raab was less pleased with the tie than Howe, but saw some benefits.
"After the Severna Park game, we needed something to get our momentum going again," Raab said. "St. Mary's has always been tough for us, so I have to be happy with the tie.
"We still need work on our quickness. We have to get the girls to move to the ball faster, to control it, make passes and shoot."
In the first half, each team took only one shot.
Although Chesapeake has five players among the area's top 40 scorers -- Emily Plenge, Jen Lewis, Tonya Buckmaster, Cammie Owens and Jaimie Schlick -- it couldn't generate much offense.
The Cougars barely outshot St. Mary's, 6-5. Saints goalie Heather Donaldson was obliged to make only two saves.
Chesapeake's Holly Colajezzi didn't have to make any.
St. Mary's, which has outscored opponents, 10-2, will play Severna Park on Friday.
Chesapeake, which hasn't scored in two games, will travel to Southern on Friday.