Six seconds showed on the clock when Westminster sophomore goalie Sara Tyssowski faced a crucial opportunity in goal. Bel Air junior midfielder Elizabeth Hillman positioned herself at the free position line, but Tyssowski stopped the ball head on to force a second consecutive overtime for the Owls.
"I just remember jumping five feet in the air," Owls senior midfielder Caroline Frock said. "I knew she could do it, I was picturing her stopping the ball. She's amazing, she's had a crazy season and I knew she was going to stop it."
Westminster defeated Dulaney in overtime on Monday when sophomore midfielder Hannah Dintino netted the game-winning goal to put her team into the Class 4A-3A South final.
The Owls were prepared, but Bel Air prevailed 10-9 in overtime when midfielder Grace Wehlend netted the game-winner to give the Bobcats their first region title since 2015.
Westminster (14-3) was on the hunt for its 10th regional title and the first since 2012.
"I just couldn't be more proud of the team," Owls coach Jackie Stevens said. "We have such a great coaching staff and these girls, you couldn't ask for more. They put their heart into it and all the hard work and effort they put in on and off the field made it such a successful season. It's unfortunate to have it end like this, but Bel Air is a great team. We knew that coming in but these girls shouldn't hang their heads, they had an amazing season. We haven't gotten this far in about four or five years so they have something to be proud of."
The Owls picked up an early 3-1 lead with goals from Amy Jarvis, Madi Macera and Frock, but the Bobcats continued to pile on the pressure. Sophomore defender Katie McGrain and junior midfielder Lauren Asher scored the last two goals to even the score 4-4 at halftime.
The teams traded goals back and forth throughout the majority of the second half and the Owls faced difficulty winning the draw in the circle. Bobcats junior attacker Julia Henry found teammate Anna Farley for a goal with the man-up advantage to make it 7-5 with 13:32 remaining. Frock responded with a free position tally, her second of three goals on the night, to trim the deficit 7-6.
Henry found Hillman, a former standout at North Carroll, open in the center for a quick shot to give the Bobcats a two-goal lead again and the teams again traded goals within the last 10 minutes. Macera weaved through Bel Air's defenders for an unassisted goal to tie the score 9-9 with 3:07 left in regulation and Tyssowski's last second save forced the teams to extra play.
The Owls said they built a foundation and a family this year, despite having their season cut short. Frock and senior defender Delaney McKelvie, team captains, are proud of the progress they've made within the program.
"This year we just really worked as a team," Frock said. "Last year, we were kind of building up and it never really came together as well as it did this year with having the same coaches two years in a row. Mike was our first year coach last year and him coming back was a really big thing for us. We were just a family this year and we worked so well together and had such a good season."
Every senior had a leadership mentality this year, Frock said, and it's slated to have a positive impact on the underclassmen as they continue their reign through the program.
"Last year and this year are so different and we use the word 'Family" and it's the perfect word to use," McKelvie added. "We have more of a younger team so to have them be there now, it can build for next year and I'm proud of that because they get to see what we did this year and it can only go up from here."
Goals: BA-Lauren Asher, Anna Farley, Maggi Hall, Julia Henry 2, Grace Wehland 2, Elizabeth Hillman 3; W-Erin Anderson, Hannah Dintino, Caroline Frock 3, Amy Jarvis, Madi Macera 2, Anna Ruby.
Assists: BA-Farley 2, Henry, Wehland; W-Dintino, Frock, Paige Sedlar.
Saves: BA-4 (Molly Loughlin); W-10 (Sara Tyssowski).
Halftime: Tied, 4-4.