The scoreboard may have read 0-0, but there were, in fact, two legitimate victories yesterday at Roland Park Country School.
One went to the host, No. 5-ranked Reds, who outshot Garrison Forest 10-2 and several times in the second half came within inches of breaking the deadlock.
The other went to the visiting, third-ranked Grizzlies, whose defense stood its ground against repeated Roland Park attempts to score.
For a scoreless game, this one had no shortage of drama.
"Each team had chances, but they had more than we did, and we held them off," said Grizzlies coach Micul Ann Morse. "In that sense, a tie is like a victory for us, because we didn't let them score."
Led by back Sarah Barrett, center halfback Carey Ann Aprahamian and goalie Catie Corbin (10 saves), the Grizzlies (3-2-4) time and again were forced to clear shots out of their end, as Roland Park (8-3-2) kept up relentless pressure.
"We had a good number of scoring chances, especially near the end. We just couldn't quite get it there," said Roland Park coach Debbie Bloodsworth, who had high praise for Corbin. "There was one play where she went down, did a split, and then saved it with her stick. I thought, 'Well, maybe we won't score today.' "
Not that Garrison Forest didn't have its chances. Especially in the early minutes, the game was a fast-paced, back-and-forth affair.
"Defensively, we were really solid," said Morse. "We just had a lot of trouble getting our fast break going."
Said Aprahamian: "We just kept trying to work it out of our circle and get it up to our end. With all the chances that they had, and how long they had it in our circle, it's pretty good feeling that we kept them out of the goal."
Roland Park was expected by some to struggle this season, a "rebuilding year." Players, however, took that as a challenge.
"A lot of people didn't think we'd be a good team, but we're proving them wrong," said Reds forward Allison Higgins.
The league does not use overtimes or penalty strokes to decide regular-season ties. Some coaches argue with the philosophy, but Morse remains a proponent.
"If you have a deadline, you've got to meet it, and you don't get an extension," she said. "They say you have to have a winner. Well, sometimes in life you don't have a winner, but if you meet your deadline and do the best you can, that's all you can ask for."