Bubba Love finished most of the six goals he scored in the Class 3A West Region title game by thumping his chest with his right hand.
The gesture seemed poignant given the circumstances — Love and his Westminster teammates needed several comebacks to clip Linganore and repeat as regional champs. In the biggest game of the season, grit and determination went a long way toward the Owls’ success.
It’s those attributes carrying Westminster, and three other county lacrosse teams, into state tournament action this weekend.
Two boys and two girls teams from Carroll are getting set for state semifinals. Century’s boys (15-2) are at Northeast (Anne Arundel) High School to take on Parkside in a 2A semifinal Friday night at 6, while Westminster (17-0) gets James M. Bennett on Saturday at noon at Mount Hebron.
In girls action, Westminster (12-6) faces Stephen Decatur on Friday at 6 p.m. at Hebron before South Carroll (14-1) plays Queen Anne’s on Friday at 8 at Northeast.
Westminster is trying to repeat as 3A boys state champs, and the Owls bring a 35-game winning streak into the semifinals. Meanwhile, Century is back for the first time since 2013 — and the Knights are there thanks to a stout defense.
They’ve won three in a row and 10 of their last 11, the last of which came Wednesday in the 2A West final against Damascus. Century held down the Hornets and won 9-2 — its defense is allowing 4.6 goals per game. The Knights have surrendered double digits only once this year, and that came against Westminster (an 11-6 loss).
Century boasts junior Alex Kristian, a Loyola commit, junior and twin brother Andy Kristian, sophomore Landon Bruce, and senior Ben Voigt in front of goalie Adam Zimmerman.
“It’s almost like the coaching is taken out of my hands,” Knights coach Jeremy Benson said after Century beat South Carroll 13-3 in the sectional final. “Once we get a certain matchup that we like, we’re able to take advantage and we get better as the game goes.”
The next matchup is with Parkside (13-2), which won its first regional crown in nine years. The Rams took down Fallston 8-1 in the 2A East final behind three goals from attackman Dom Flora.
Century has its own threats on offense, led by senior attackman Brett Kropinski (30 goals, 16 assists), senior attack Matt Daniel (27, nine), and senior midfielder Jalen Stanton (29, six).
“Luckily we’ve got a lot of athletes and now we’re getting them to play a lot smarter,” Benson said. “We’ve always been able to beat our guy and draw a dodge, but then we’d force it. Now we’re playing a little bit more patient.”
Some of Westminster’s players let out a cheer when they realized they had practice Thursday after surviving Linganore once again in the 3A West final. Love netted six goals and Conner Covey scored four, with Love handing out three assists.
The unbeaten Owls get Bennett, which defeated Mount Hebron 14-13 in overtime to take its first region crown. The Clippers (13-5) got six goals from midfielder Alex Sewell.
The Owls made some adjustments at the face-off “X” against the Lancers, who controlled most of the face-offs before Westminster freshman Alex Steers helped his team swing momentum. The Owls are averaging 15.2 goals per game.
Westminster, the reigning 3A state champions, captured its second straight 3A West title after beating Tuscarora 17-7 on Wednesday to set up another trip to the state tournament. The Owls are on a five-game win streak. They have outscored their opponents 69-19 through four playoff games.
The Owls (11-6) played close with county foe Manchester Valley in the section final Monday and got past the Mavericks 12-9. Senior midfielder Hannah Dintino paces the Owls’ offense with 89 points (61 goals, 28 assists).
Junior attacker Chloe Sedlar and senior midfielder Anna Ruby add depth on offense for the Owls as well. Sedlar and sophomore midfielder Lauren Saltz scored five goals apiece to help the Owls get past Tuscarora. Ruby, whose 61 points rank third among the Owls this season, tallied four goals against the Mavs.
“The girls have fought hard to improve and learn from some of our tougher games during the season,” Owls coach Jackie Stevens said via text. “We knew we had a lot to work on then and have been working hard since to come together as a team.”
Stephen Decatur used a five-goal run to edge Mount Hebron 10-9 on Wednesday to win the 3A East title, its fifth region crown in six years. The Seahawks went 7-5 in the regular season, but their victory over the Vikings gave them their ninth regional title in 14 years.
South Carroll, meanwhile, is two wins away from its first state championship in program history.
The Cavaliers defeated Middletown 8-2 on Wednesday to capture their first regional title since 1993, thanks to a stout defensive effort led by junior goalie Julia Weiss.
SC is led by seniors Abbey Behn and Riley Evans, and the duo each made three connections for goals against the Knights. Behn leads the team with 76 points (30 goals, 46 assists) and Evans has 58 points (51, seven).
The Cavs (14-1) have won seven straight game, and knocked out Century and Winters Mill prior to advancing to the regional final.
Latest Carroll County High School Sports
SC’s state semifinal opponent, Queen Anne’s, got past North Harford 12-6 to take the 3A East title — its 10th regional crown in 11 seasons. The Lions defeated Easton and Kent Island to advance.