xml:space="preserve">

High school sports aren’t about opportunities, but rather taking advantage of the ones you get.

Mt. Hebron’s field hockey team dominated time of possession, shots and corners on Wednesday, but Westminster’s Kirby Henneman scored twice in the first half to lead the Owls to an upset win over the host Vikings. The win in the Class 3A East Region I championship gives the Owls their fourth region crown in the last five years and 28th in program history.

Advertisement

“It’s awesome,” said Henneman. “We were region champs last year, and it’s the best feeling ever to be back here again. We’re just one step closer to states.”

Westminster coach Laurie Naill said the win over Mt. Hebron (10-3) is the best game the Owls have played this season.

“I think they were ready and prepared and excited to be here,” she said. “They were all positive and communicating throughout the game.”

While the first half was a relatively even affair, Hebron controlled the second half and drew 12 corners. The scoring opportunities couldn’t lead to any goals, however, and the Vikings were shut out for the first time this season.

“We couldn’t score,” said Hebron coach Jeannette Ireland. “I couldn’t tell you why. I thought (Westminster) had several good stick saves. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way. We had some good shots, but we couldn’t find the back of the cage.”

Westminster (11-5) — along with the other seven region champions — will be re-seeded for the state quarterfinals by regular-season winning percentage.

Henneman scored midway through the first half of the rainy contest. The junior forward then scored five minutes later to put the Owls up 2-0 with 40 minutes remaining. Her first goal was on a fast break, and her second was assisted by Audrey Detrow after the Owls drew a corner.

“Our fast breaks were awesome,” Henneman said. “We hustled back on those, and we all wanted it so badly.”

“She has really stepped up in the important games,” Naill said. “She’s been playing awesome, and she’s a reason we’re where we are today."

Despite giving Mt. Hebron corner after corner in the second half, the Owls defense remained stout. Goalie Megan Watkins had a handful of impressive saves, but her defenders didn’t allow many shots to get close to the cage.

“Shout out to our defense, they did an amazing job,” Henneman said. “It was unbelievable. We have so many great defenders.”

Naill, who is in her second year at the helm, is familiar with a few of Hebron’s players, including the Vikings’ best player — Esha Shah.

“We know how good Esha is, and Emma [Border] was responsible for her today. I think she did a great job of defending her,” Naill said. “Our defense overall was amazing. Miranda [Moshang] and Sydney [Schinkai] really helped lead the defense.”

Mt. Hebron field hockey coach Jeannette Ireland won her 300th game on Monday, Sept. 23, against Catonsville.

After the loss, Ireland told her senior class — which consists of Mackenzie Strozyk, Grace Chaffinch, Esha Shah, Erin Webb, Margaret Inskeep, Ally DeBels, Jessica Cherry, Amelia Hogle and Hailey Conklin — to remember what they accomplished this season.

Advertisement

“They’re an awesome senior class,” Ireland said. “They’re a really special group. I reminded them of what we achieved. We hadn’t won the county championship since 2013 or beaten Glenelg or an Anne Arundel County team in a long time (before this year). We took big steps this year. I just didn’t want it to end this way.”

The eight region champions will be re-seeded Thursday for the region quarterfinal games that occur Friday and Saturday. The opponent, site and time of Westminster’s state quarterfinal game are to be determined.

Box score:

Westminster 2, Mt. Hebron 0

Goals: W — Kirby Henneman 2.

Assists: W — Audrey Detrow.

Saves: W — Megan Watkins 5; MH — Hailey Conklin 2.

Halftime: 2-0, W

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement