Westminster girls lacrosse freshman Anna Ruby will always remember her first varsity game-winning goal.
It came against crosstown rival Winters Mill. And it unfolded in just about the most dramatic way imaginable.
Ruby scored with 3.5 seconds left in Westminster's 7-6 win at Winters Mill on Wednesday night. Ruby's goal marked the first time the Owls (4-0, 1-0 county) held the lead in a close contest moved up a day to avoid inclement weather.
A comeback was required. The Owls delivered a frantic one.
Junior Amy Jarvis tied the game at 6-6 with 2 minutes left off a free-position shot. Owls junior Caroline Frock drew another free position shot with 15.7 seconds remaining to the left of the goal. Her shot sailed just above the crossbar.
"At that point, I was just getting in the best position to try and help my team win," she said.
It was her only goal in the game. When asked afterward how many goals she has scored this year, she said she didn't know and she doesn't keep track.
"That's a very humble player," Westminster coach Jackie Stevens said.
Her goal capped a rally in which the Owls never gave in, even after Winters Mill midfielder Meghan Crouse scored to give the Falcons a 6-5 lead with 3 minutes remaining.
Several Westminster possessions ended with Crouse forcing turnovers or collecting ground balls. Crouse's check from behind near midfield, a pure hustle play, halted the Owls before they could even start an attack with six minutes left.
Senior Coeli Love and sophomore Sarah Rhoads each had two goals for Winters Mill (0-4, 0-1 county). Jarvis and senior Devin Hursey paced the Owls with two goals.
Winters Mill played its customary difficult out-of-conference schedule. Coach Courtney Vaughn prefers to give her players opportunities against elite opponents. So far, the Falcons have come agonizingly close on multiple occasions.
Three of Winters Mill's four losses are by two goals or fewer.
"We knew it was going to be a close game," Stevens said. "Winters Mill is a great team and it came down to possession and draw controls."
The Owls scrapped for every ground ball. Frock left with a bloody knuckle, collateral damage in a close game with many momentum swings.
Winters Mill dominated possession in the first half, with Crouse winning the first four draws. But the Owls defense collapsed in front of the goal when attackers approached. Senior goalie Taylor Gauss had six saves.
After a friendly post-game handshake line that featured many hugs between rival opponents, Stevens gathered her jubilant players for the post-game huddle.
"You did not give up," she said.
And Ruby, the freshman, made the result stand.
Goals: W-Amy Jarvis 2, Devin Hursey, Caroline Frock, Anna Ruby; WM-Coeli Love 2, Sarah Rhoads 2, Meghan Crouse.