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Field Hockey: Westminster outlasts Urbana in overtime to win Class 3A state championship

CHESTERTOWN — As they gathered to pose with the Class 3A state championship trophy a few minutes after capturing the title, one of Westminster’s field hockey players offered a suggestion.

“Give it to Miranda, Miranda should hold it,” an Owl said out loud.

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The hardware made its way out in front of Westminster’s bunch, which outlasted Urbana in overtime for a 2-1 victory at Washington College. Defender Miranda Moshang knocked in the game-winner, one of the reasons for her teammates’ request for the freshman to get her hands on the championship trophy.

The Owls (14-5) closed the season with four wins in a row to earn their 10th state title in school history, and the first since 2014. Westminster had to rally to get there, however, and when Urbana (18-2) scored first early in the second half a regroup was needed.

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The Hawks held control for most of the first half, and survived being down four players for a few minutes because of a rash of green and yellow cards. They broke through 10 minutes into the second half when junior midfielder Maggie Goodwin converted a penalty stroke.

Westminster used a timeout. Gut-check time, said senior forward Audrey Detrow.

Westminster's Audrey Detrow gets a pass away just ahead of Urbana's Emma Purcell in the first half. Westminster takes a 2-1 win in overtime against Urbana in the Maryland 3A field hockey championship game played in Chestertown on Saturday
Westminster's Audrey Detrow gets a pass away just ahead of Urbana's Emma Purcell in the first half. Westminster takes a 2-1 win in overtime against Urbana in the Maryland 3A field hockey championship game played in Chestertown on Saturday (Doug Kapustin For Carroll County Times/Carroll County Times)

“We talked about answering back,” Detrow said. “We had the ball on our side for a lot [in the second half]. So we just needed to finish.”

About 10 minutes after Goodwin posted the 100th goal of the season for Urbana, Westminster found its answer. Detrow found junior forward Kirby Henneman pushing toward the Hawks’ cage, and Henneman collected the equalizer.

That gave Westminster momentum, and it totaled five penalty corner tries in the second half. The Owls kept their surge going in overtime, and Moshang found herself in a great spot during the second corner try of the OT.

“I did not think it was going in, honestly,” said Moshang, who watched fellow freshman Jess Kent send the ball in her direction. “The [Urbana] girl was coming in behind me, [and] I couldn’t hit it so I just flicked it in and it went into the corner.”

Moshang’s goal with 7:49 remaining preceded a dogpile of Owls players celebrating in front of Urbana’s cage, while the Hawks came to grips with coming up short in their first state finals appearance.

Second-year coach Laurie Naill, a former Westminster field hockey player herself, didn’t miss a chance to join in the jubilation. Naill played in the 1992 state finals as a senior, but the Owls lost to Severna Park in the 4A final.

Naill let her emotions show after Saturday’s thriller, and for good reason.

Westminster teammates, Audrey Detrow (L) Jess Kent and Kirby Henneman (R) rush to greet Miranda Moshang after she scores the winning goal in overtime. Westminster takes a 2-1 win in overtime against Urbana in the Maryland 3A field hockey championship game played in Chestertown on Saturday
Westminster teammates, Audrey Detrow (L) Jess Kent and Kirby Henneman (R) rush to greet Miranda Moshang after she scores the winning goal in overtime. Westminster takes a 2-1 win in overtime against Urbana in the Maryland 3A field hockey championship game played in Chestertown on Saturday (Doug Kapustin For Carroll County Times/Carroll County Times)

“It’s hard to score one goal, and it’s also hard to come back,” Naill said. “You just have to keep working, and I thought that they did a great job all season. I told them all season, if you keep working, and you keep hustling and give it 110%, you’re going to come up with something.”

The Owls had a four-player advantage late in the first half, with Urbana being handed four cards in less than two minutes, and drew their first penalty corner during that stretch. Westminster couldn’t muster a shot, however, and the game remained scoreless.

Urbana’s first solid shot on goal came a few minutes later, a breakaway into the Owls’ defense from the middle of the circle, but goalie Megan Watkins closed her pads together for the save.

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Watkins (five saves) didn’t let surrendering a second-half stroke become the story of her day. Neither did the Owls, who persevered long enough to get back into the game and overtake a familiar playoff foe. Westminster beat its Frederick County rivals last year in the regional final, one year after the Hawks ended the Owls’ year in the region title game.

“Everybody plays a part. It doesn’t matter if you get three minutes, 10 minutes, play the whole game, or are on the sideline,” Naill said. “Everybody has a part on this team. And everybody plays their part.”

Goals: U-Maggie Goodwin; W-Kirby Henneman, Miranda Moshang.

Assists: U-none; W-Audrey Detrow, Jess Kent.

Saves: U-3 (McKenna Ladson); W-5 (Megan Watkins).

Halftime: Tied, 0-0.

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