Perry Hall coach Patrick Sokoloski listened all week in practice to some of his players who begged him to drop the new misdirection play.
"They kept on saying, 'It will never work, it will never work,' " said Sokoloski.
Yesterday in overtime against third-ranked Dulaney, however, the much-maligned play helped produce one of the biggest upsets of the season.
Sophomore Susan Fortkiewicz took a throw-in from Kari Siess and scored 1:30 into sudden-death to give the host and unranked Gators a dramatic 5-4 victory.
The win marked the first time Perry Hall (6-1) has beaten Dulaney (5-1) since girls started playing soccer in Baltimore County in 1984.
For several of the Gators, it also provided a moment they say they'll probably never forget.
"This game was all I wanted this whole season," said Barbara-Anne Smith. "This is the sweetest victory I've ever been a part of. It just makes my senior year."
After a wild regulation in which Perry Hall took a 3-1 lead only to see Dulaney tie the game on a freakish goal with 10 seconds left, Fortkiewicz's game-winner touched off a chaotic celebration that included a flying leap from Sokoloski, bad knees and all.
"It feels really good to finally get in the other side of the [won-loss] column against them," said Sokoloski.
Siess sent an arching throw-in to a cluster of players seven yards in front of the goal. Fortkiewicz came up with it and fired a left-footed grounder to the right of goalie Kate Szper and into the net.
"I just wanted that goal really bad," said Fortkiewicz. "If I wouldn't have put it in, I would've regretted it so much. My whole team was counting on me."
Seconds earlier, however, the only thing it seemed Perry Hall could count on was a frustrating loss.
After taking a 2-0 lead, on goals by Siess and Jessa Phoebus, the Gators were dominated the rest of the first half, though they emerged from the half with a 2-1 lead thanks to a number of acrobatic saves by goalie Steph Koman.
Dulaney outshot its hosts, 13-5, in the first half and 35-20 for the game.
But Perry Hall regained control for much of the second half, extending its lead to 3-1 on a Jessica Loehr goal, and later 4-2 on a peculiar goal in which two Dulaney defenders -- trying to clear the ball -- unintentionally tapped in Siess' failed attempt.
With time running out, however, Dulaney answered. First, Ali Schuch scored from close range off a pass from Aimee Vaughan. Then, with just 10 seconds left in regulation, the Lions tied it in one of the most unexpected and dramatic ways imaginable.
Koman, attempting to punt the ball downfield, instead banked it off the head of Vaughan, standing in front of the goal. The ball rolled to Schuch, who tapped it into the empty net to send the game to overtime.
Though the Lions, who had outscored their opponents, 52-5, in five previous wins, had the first chance to score in sudden-death, it was Perry Hall's goal that spoiled their otherwise remarkable comeback.
"That's going to happen sometimes," said Dulaney coach Kathy Schmidt. "We had a lot of shots, but couldn't finish them off. You might have 100 other games where their shots will be on, and then get one like this where they can't put it in."