Westminster's Sara Tyssowski makes a save to send the game in to overtime in the second half of the Owls' 10-9 loss in overtime to Bel Air in Westminster Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Westminster's Sara Tyssowski makes a save to send the game in to overtime in the second half of the Owls' 10-9 loss in overtime to Bel Air in Westminster Wednesday, May 17, 2017 (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO)

Madi Macera said the underclassmen on the Westminster girls lacrosse team are already giving the veteran players a run for their money this spring.

The new season started on March 21, but the Owls have yet to play their first game. Winter Storm Toby arrived on the first day of spring and brought inclement weather to the area, forcing Carroll County Public schools to be closed and preventing spring teams from practicing and playing.

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For a team that lost 12 seniors to graduation last season, a strong group of underclassmen is a positive sign for what could come for the Owls.

“Last year was definitely incredible to be a part of and I was close to a lot of the seniors, getting to play together one last time,” said Macera, a senior attacker. “We’ve been playing together since rec with a lot of the girls and this year to be my last season; you get those butterflies because you know it’s the last time in this setting.

“We know we’re so strong and we work so well together. We have such a good bond and I’m so excited to see how far this can take us because we have a great chance of going farther than we did last year.”

The Owls went 14-3 last spring and shared a piece of the county title with Century, the Class 2A-1A state champions, and Manchester Valley, state champs from 2014-2016. The Owls earned a first-round bye in the 4A-3A playoffs last season and defeated Catonsville and Dulaney before earning a spot in the regional final against Bel Air.

Sara Tyssowski started in the goal as a sophomore last year and her performance proved crucial for the Owls. Tyssowski stopped a potential game-winning shot for Bel Air in the regional final that sent the game to overtime — the team’s second straight OT match.

Westminster sophomore Anna Ruby shoots a goal against South Carroll during the first half of the Owls' 13-4 win over the Cavaliers in Winfield Thursday, March 23, 2017.
Westminster sophomore Anna Ruby shoots a goal against South Carroll during the first half of the Owls' 13-4 win over the Cavaliers in Winfield Thursday, March 23, 2017. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO)

The Bobcats prevailed, however, and went on to win the state championship. The loss still stings for the Owls, but they’re already fueled to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

“It was definitely a team effort,” Tyssowski said. “I helped all along as much as I could but I had a really strong defense that helped me get into varsity like Anna Ruby especially, she helped me keep up my communication and I developed a lot of skills last year that I never really had. I didn’t know I would have as much success as I did last year so I definitely think it was a lot of team work more than just me.”

Macera earned Times first-team all-county status in 2017 after scoring 50 goals, and Ruby pitched in with 31 goals and four assists. Tyssowski posted a 52.0 save percentage and totaled 136 saves.

Rachel Border and Caroline Frock, two Times first team all-countians last season, are two of the 12 Owls who graduated. They left behind holes on attack and defense — Frock was third in Carroll in scoring with 95 points — but coach Jackie Stevens has already began utilizing her rising players to uphold the challenge.

“They’re doing a great job with it, we have a lot of juniors coming up like Haleigh Moore, she’s a great defender filling in those big shoes, Chloe Sedlar, definitely coming up to help us,” Stevens said. “They’re definitely filling in those spots so we don’t feel that big void.”

Westminster is scheduled to open its season Tuesday at Ruby Field against Aberdeen before playing in a showcase tournament at South River High School beginning Thursday.

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