Then a long leisurely kick by a Lady Wolf took an unexpected high bounce over the Lady Wildcats' goalie into the net and suddenly the two teams were knotted at 1-all with barely three minutes left in the regulation portion of their game.
Though most of the game had been played, it was hardly over for head coach Kyle Morgan and his 7-AAAA Lady Wildcats, who used the final three minutes in the regulation portion of the contest to repel some furious charges from Rome, not allowing any of them to make a dent on the scoreboard.
That emphasis on defense did not change in the first five-minute overtime, when the Lady Wolves drew first possession of the ball. Rome stayed on the offensive and its strikers fired three times at Woodland's goal only to see freshman goalie Alicia Velasquez leap suddenly over and haul it down between her mitts.
Woodland returned the offensive display in the second overtime -- during which it was awarded possession at the start -- repeatedly taking the ball deep into the Lady Wolves' lair.
Then in the 91st minute, Sara Garrett fired a bullet from about 25 yards out that zipped just to the right of the Rome goalie and into the net, giving Woodland its first region win of the season, 2-1.
The goal was Garrett's second of the contest -- she had put Woodland up 1-0 at the 9:09 mark of regulation. That first shot threaded the needle from about 18 yards out, also with a little more authority than the Lady Wolves' version of a shot on goal.
Morgan said Garrett's play has been a bright spot for Woodland as it settles into the meat of its region schedule.
He said Velasquez is showing maturity in mastering her position. "She's [already] a good player, and her best soccer is ahead of her."
The coach said Woodland still has much to learn and each week must improve its play. "We're a young team and we've got a lot to learn."
He said the Rome victory is sweet because of its region implications and because the Lady Wolves provided such a stiff offensive challenge all evening.
"They are a good team and this was a gutsy performance by our team," he said. "It's nice to see them rewarded with a win for all the effort they've put into this."
The win, which snapped a four-game losing streak, raises Woodland's record to 3-7 overall and 1-3 in its region.
The Saturday win was also a better result than the Lady Wildcats got Friday night, when they fell to South Forsyth, 2-0.
"South Forsyth is a good team and we competed with them," Morgan said. "We just weren't able to complete the game with a win."
He said the Lady Wildcats must continue to improve this season if they want to be playing when the playoffs roll around.
Woodland next plays again Friday night, when it visits Creekview High, near Canton. Game time is at 6.