Mary Rivera, Westminster After a six-year absence, Westminster returned to the state final in remarkable fashion. Under Rivera, the Owls were unbeaten during the regular season for the second straight year, this time making it all the way to the Class 4A state final before losing.
Westminster allowed a total of seven goals, finishing 18-1 and ranked No. 3.
A 1998 Westminster graduate, Rivera played for the Owls' 1996 state championship team and for the 1997 runner-up, which like this season's team lost to Severna Park in the final.
"I became the head coach here four years ago," said Rivera, whose record over that span is 57-7-1. "The team I took over was 5-8, just an average team."
The Owls had been rebuilding for several years when Rivera was promoted from junior varsity coach, moved her players to varsity and began laying down a philosophy. Players come first, honesty counts and a player who can play defense can play any position on the field.