Tyler Buberl lined up for a play he and his Westminster High School boys soccer teammates know quite well.

Buberl executed the plan as well as he could, and as a result the Owls added a second-half goal en route to their 4-1 win Thursday at Ruby Field over visiting Linganore.

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The senior defender, and one of his team’s captains, helped Westminster get back to .500 at 2-2. And the start of its 2019 season has been anything but consistent.

The Owls split a pair of tournament games Sept. 5-6 at Catonsville, with a 4-2 win over the host Comets dampened by a 1-0 loss vs. Mount Hebron on what they considered a questionable goal. They traveled Tuesday to Thomas S. Wootton in Rockville, and the Patriots handed Westminster a 9-1 loss, leaving some of its players calling Wootton the best team they had ever witnessed, let alone faced.

Thursday’s contest was a needed bounce-back for the Owls, with Buberl sparking their offense on his well-timed play.

So what was it, exactly?

“Uhh, well, I can’t talk you through the play,” Buberl said after the game.

Spoiler alert it’s a throw-in from the sideline, and while Buberl and the Owls keep their specifics of the play to themselves, the object is for the ball not to touch the ground before a teammate, whirling in the box, drills it into the net.

Buberl’s overhead heave from the far side — he usually starts on the track and runs up to gain a little more power in his throw — found Noah Roche’s foot, and the junior midfielder scored to give Westminster a 3-0 lead less than 9 minutes into the second half.

Buberl said the Owls work on such plays over and over during practice, but coach Bird Brown said Thursday was the first time that “weapon” worked in a game since Buberl has been on varsity.

“Yeah, I mean, I always think that” Westminster can score off the sideline throw-ins, Buberl said.

Strikers Christian Burke, a junior, and Josh Lindenstruth, a freshman, had first-half goals for the Owls. Lindenstruth’s came on a deflection from short range after sophomore Tony Kunz sent the ball toward the goal from the near side of the box.

Eric Wojtkowiak, a junior midfielder, put Westminster ahead 4-0 before Linganore avoided the shutout with 16:45 to play on a goal from Warren Stewart.

A steady, and sometimes heavy, rain came midway through the second half, and made things slippery the rest of the way.

The Lancers pressed from there, and had a second goal disallowed in the final minutes because of a penalty. But Westminster dispatched its Frederick County foe, and perhaps took away some of the sting from Tuesday’s lopsided loss.

“We need to start stronger,” Buberl said. “Obviously, the last game wasn’t too good but we’re forgetting about it and moving on.”

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Westminster has a few more out-of-county opponents upcoming before starting Carroll County Athletic League play. The Owls face Thomas Johnson and Arundel next week, before hosting Manchester Valley — the reigning county champions — on Sept 24.

Gaining momentum before CCAL matchups is key to putting together a successful season, Buberl said.

Cashing in on their set plays certainly helps.

“Huge confidence," Buberl said. “When we have a long throw, it’s just like a corner. So it’s a huge threat.”

Goals: L-Warren Stewart; W-Christian Burke, Josh Lindenstruth, Noah Roche, Eric Wojtkowiak.

Assists: L-none; W-Gabe Taylor, Tony Kunz, Tyler Buberl, Lindenstruth.

Saves: L-7 (Braden Weinel); W-7 (Micah Lopiccolo).

Halftime: Westminster, 2-0.

JV result: Westminster, 4-0 (W-Ashton Stewart 3 goals).

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