Win, lose or draw, soccer coaches at every level say their players should walk off the field feeling good if they played with all their heart.

And following the final whistle on Wednesday night, both No. 4 South River High and No. 6 Severna Park’s girls’ soccer teams were holding their heads high as they walked away from a 1-1 double overtime tie, in an Anne Arundel County league match.

“We were down against Atholton and won it, 2-1, and we were down against Severna Park,” South River head coach John Sis explained. “That tells you the character of this team.  I am very proud of them. A tie is well deserved today.”

It wasn’t long into the game before the Seahawks found themselves trailing the Falcons, 1-0, watching Ryan Bathras run to the back post and put a Marisa Kresge pass into the back of the net in the first five minutes of the game.

“Our backs got too separated,” Sis said after the game.  “We got a little distracted watching the ball and not playing [Kresge], and we got too separated.  One on one with [Kresge] will shred us, and that is exactly what happened.  Her speed is great and her ball work is great.”

But after the goal, the South River squad increased their offensive pressure, controlling the ball better and allowing itself a number of shots at the goal.

Playing a 1-3-4-3, the Seahawks began pressuring the Falcons, and in the second half worked a takeaway and South River senior Kari Cunard tallied the team’s goal to put the game into overtime.

“Once we started realizing we needed to get the ball to our feet, we started to have more chances,” Sis said.  “They thought they had more time, we made them cough it up and were able to poke it by the keeper.

“We gave up a goal in five minutes and then we started to realize we needed to step up a little bit,” Sis added.  “From then on, I feel that we had most of the play in their end.”

This was not the first time Severna Park had seen overtime play, tying Bowie, 2-2, in the Anne Arundel Community College Tournament on Sept. 3, and the team knew exactly what it had to do.

Playing a scoreless first overtime period, the Falcons were clearly on the defensive, clearing Seahawks balls and surviving a corner and two free kicks to hold the tie through the end of the second overtime period.

“We played 100 minues of soccer on Monday and 100 minutes of soccer tonight,” Falcons’ head coach Todd Clark said, “and I am proud of the effort the girls put out.”

Both keepers did an outstanding job between the polls, with the Seahawks’ Nicole Greig totaling 11 saves and Severna Park’s Lexi Cavey making 17.

South River, who came into Wednesday’s match-up with one-goal wins over Bowie, 3-2, and Atholton, 2-1, is no stranger of close battles, and sees the tie to Severna Park as a personal win.

“It is so early on, and this is why playing Severna Park is great,” Sis explained.  “We can take everything that they find as our weaknesses and then we can work on it throughout our schedule, so I have no argument playing Severna park right off the bat.”

As Severna Park prepares to travel to Annapolis next Tuesday, South River hosts No. 3 Archbishop Spalding Monday.

“We are hoping to go at it,” Sis said.  “We have to go into every game and every team like they are Severna park.  That will be the
differences between this team and the teams of the past… because they are the team to beat.”

No. 4 South River 1, No. 6 Severna Park 1
Goals: SP-Bathras; SR-Cunard.
Assists: SP-Kresge.
Saves: SP-Cavey 17; SR- Greig 11.
Half: Severna Park, 1-0.