After much speculation about which was the better team in Baltimore County Division I, 13th-ranked Loch Raven and No. 10 Franklin dealt with the issue face-to-face last night.
The host Raiders gave up an early goal but rallied at the beginning of the second half to forge a 1-1 tie. The result after two overtimes kept both teams unbeaten in the league.
The divisional champ will play the winner of the other Baltimore County division -- probably No. 9 Hereford -- for the county crown Oct. 26.
The game at times resembled more a wrestling match.
"That was some hard-nose, rough-and-tumble soccer," said Franklin coach George Wagner. "I thought we had them by the tail for a good part of the game, but they're a good team."
Franklin (5-0-4 overall, 4-0-1 league) got on the board first. With just over five minutes gone, junior Jamie Burnham angled a cross in front of Loch Raven goalkeeper Molly Rogers. But the ball bounced in front of the net and over Rogers' hands for a 1-0 lead.
Loch Raven (7-2-1, 5-0-1) came out recharged for the second half.
After three shots and some exceptional saves by Franklin keeper Candice Doten in the first five minutes, the Raiders' pressure paid off in the 51st minute, when Christine Hild headed in a cross from Gina Ruocco for the tie.