Westminster ties up title chase Field hockey


This is a championship field hockey race that may not even be settled when the final game is played tomorrow.

Sure, second-ranked North Carroll technically will be the Carroll County champion if it beats Liberty tomorrow at Liberty.

But sixth-ranked Westminster did its part to fan the flames of discontent last night by shutting out Liberty, 2-0, on goals by Jen Markowitz and Sara Warner.

It was the final county game for Westminster, giving the Owls a 4-1 league record and a tie with North Carroll (4-1-1) in terms of percentages.

However, North Carroll has a chance to break that deadlock tomorrow against Liberty and win the title because the Panthers play more county games (seven) than the Owls (five).

"They go by percentages and that would give it to North Carroll," said Westminster co-coach Brenda Baker. "I believe we should be the champions, but I guess I am a little biased."

Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn said: "They shouldn't go strictly by percentages. I'm sure Westminster could pick up some extra county games and have an equal shot to win it."

The whole situation could be cleared up if Liberty (7-4, 3-3) upsets North Carroll (9-1-1, 4-1-1).

"That will be hard for us to do," said Vaughn. "North Carroll is a strong team with a lot of talented players. We will have our hands full."

Adding to the uncertainty over the county race is the fact that Westminster and North Carroll split the two games they played.

Also, Westminster (9-2, 4-1) defeated Francis Scott Key, which played North Carroll to a scoreless tie.

Vaughn said: "I don't have to worry about it. That's for Westminster and North Carroll to settle. Liberty not only could do Westminster a huge favor by upsetting North Carroll, but the Lions could help their cause in the 2A regionals."

Liberty is fourth-seeded and could avoid a first-round meeting with North Carroll if the Lions knock off the Panthers.

North Carroll and Damascus are fighting for the top seed in the 2A West Region, with the Panthers needing a win over Liberty to claim the top seed.

"I'd much rather play Damascus in the first round," said Vaughn.

Last night, the Owls returned to their winning ways after being upset eight days ago by Linganore, 1-0.

Westminster took the lead just 5:44 into the game on a Markowitz goal and then held off several challenges by the Lions before Warner ran the lead to 2-0 with 6:32 left in the game on a rocket shot from 15 yards.

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