Somehow it seemed inevitable that the Anne Arundel County championship would come down to Old Millforward Carina Sonberg against Severna Parkgoalkeeper Shannon Chaney.
Chaney had turned back one tough shot after another by Sonberg all evening.
But this time, Sonberg won a confrontation with Chaney to drive home a shot from 30 yards for the winning goal, 1-0, breaking up a scoreless battle with just 23 seconds left in a second 10-minute sudden-death overtime at Arundel.
The dramatic ending, after 99 minutes and 37 seconds of intense play, came on a breakaway.
Just when it appeared that third-ranked Severna Park (11-1-1) and No. 11 Old Mill (10-2-1) would be sharing the county championship (no shootout was scheduled), Sonberg found herself wide open in the middle of the field with a perfect long pass from Alicia Curran headed right to her.
Sonberg corraled the ball and headed toward the net with only Chaney in front of her and Severna Park sweeper Jess Miller converging from the left side.
It was the big moment Sonberg had been waiting for if she could figure out a way to beat Chaney, who entered the game with 44 shutouts in her 60-game varsity career.
Then came the break Sonberg and the Patriots needed to finally solve the 5-foot-11 Chaney, who had come out of the goal to challenge Sonberg.
Miller collided with Chaney, taking the goalkeeper out of the play and allowing Sonberg to send the ball through both fallen Severna Park players and into the goal.
Sonberg ran after the ball in case it veered away from the net but no help was needed. The ball plunked into the goal while Chaney and Miller looked on.
No one on either sideline second-guessed Chaney for coming out of the goal.
"It was either stay back and wonder or go out and wonder," said Chaney. "I believe I had to come out of the goal and take a chance."
The goal was Sonberg's 18th of the season.
"It wasn't a fluke goal," she said. "I got a good through ball from Alicia and Shannon ran into her sweeper. It was a nice play and has to be one of the biggest goals I'll ever score."
Old Mill coach Bruce Sponsler said it wasn't a set play but something the Patriots work on.
"We try to send long balls from the back to our forwards and this time it worked," he said. "We consider ourselves lucky to be on the same field with a tremendous Severna Park soccer team that is nationally ranked and has a great tradition and to beat them is fantastic.
"This means so much to our program. Shannon Chaney [nine saves] proved tonight she is the best goalkeeper in the state. There is no way this game would have gone to overtime if she had not been in the goal for Severna Park. We tested her so many times with super shots and she stopped them all until the last one."