Ties don't generally register as the most satisfying of outcomes.
But Rochester Mayo finishing with a 2-2 tie with rival Century in girls soccer on Saturday had an entirely different feel. At least to the Spartans.
The reason was simply. By mid-afternoon Saturday, pretty much everyone at Mayo Stadium felt like Century had its fourth win of the season locked up, leading Mayo 2-0 with under 3 minutes left.
But then, out of nowhere, Mayo revealed that it wasn't nearly done playing. It scored with 2:49 left on a scrum in front of the net, Layna Erredge with the conversion, then got on the board one more time with 29 ticks left as 5-feet-9 Molly Hendrickson knocked home a header off a corner kick. And that's how the score ended.
Mayo walked away beaming, Century the other way around. Sometimes being fit to be tied isn't such a bad thing, depending on the circumstances.
"Yeah, this definitely felt like a win," said Hendrickson, a senior who registered her first goal of the season and second goal of her varsity career. Both have been off of headers.
Mayo is 2-1-1, Century 3-0-1.
Saturday's outcome was reflective of how different this season has felt for Mayo. Yes, it's had to deal with COVID-19 and the mask wearing and countless other modifications that have gone with it. But it's also been able to feel good about things for the first time in years.
The latter has everything to do with how its playing. The Spartans have demonstrated winning soccer, now with two wins, one loss and one tie.
Mayo had gone a combined 7-25-2 the previous two seasons and hadn't had a winning season since 2016.
But the Spartans had a hunch things were going to change in 2020. Those optimistic feeling started to percolate this summer.
"What we've done so far just shows how much effort we've put into it," Hendrickson said. "We all got a lot of (soccer) work in all summer. Today, we needed to keep our heads up (after getting down 2-0), and we did that. We all needed to regroup and take a deep breath."
Mayo finally has experience on its side. Two years ago, 16 sophomores were suiting up for the Mayo varsity. This season, the Spartans have the benefit of six seniors and eight juniors on its varsity roster.
They've also added one key piece, Kennedy Josephs. A junior midfielder, it is Josephs' first time playing high school soccer, having always done elite traveling soccer only in years past.
Josephs, who might be Rochester's best player, combines outstanding skill with speed and plenty of fight. She was able to control the ball much of the time against Century, something she's consistently done this season.
"Kennedy makes things happen," Mayo coach Andre Bailey said. "She's an intregral part of what we've done so far this season. Plus, she knows what level we can play at (and wants to get them there)."
• Century got its two goals from Addison Clarey and Mckenna Baker.
Panthers coach Karen LaDue believes this tie with Mayo will spur her team.
"I think this will motivate them," LaDue said. "They are likely upset that we tied today, and they should be. "
She also gave plenty of credit to Mayo.
"Really, this game (prior to Mayo scoring twice) felt like a one-goal game the whole time," LaDue said. "Mayo has gotten better. They have some size on their side now and and that's an asset. You can get to more balls when you have size."
Mayo 2, Century 2
Century 1 1 — 2
Mayo 0 2 — 2
Century: Addie Clarey 1 goal; Mckenna Baker 1 goal; Jordan Nowicki 1 goal. Goalie: Kate Kopp 6 saves.
Mayo: Molly Hendrickson 1 goal; Isabel Wright 1 assist; Layna Erredge 1 goal. Goalie: Morgan Sawyer 6 saves.