Katie Haley had been streaking past the Westminster defense all afternoon for all kinds of high-percentage scoring opportunities for Richard Montgomery.
So it came as no surprise when Haley (6 feet 1) bolted into the clear again in the sudden-death overtime period yesterday and went one-on-one with Owls goalkeeper Andrea Kirby.
The surprise was that Haley finally finished off one of those promising fast breaks with a goal that lifted second-seeded Richard Montgomery to a 2-1 victory over third-seeded Westminster in the semifinals of the state Class 4A field hockey tournament at Goucher College.
The Rockets of Montgomery County (12-3) will meet defending 4A champion and top-seeded Severna Park for the title at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and the Owls are through for the season with a 12-3 record in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year.
Haley ended the fast-paced game 6:57 into overtime primarily because she didn't rush things like the Rockets had been doing most of the game.
Westminster co-coach Sue Hooper said, "I believe the difference in the game was that they were faster and quicker than we were. But we should have never let it get to overtime [the Owls made a 1-0 lead stand up until 5:13 left in regulation play]."
Richard Montgomery tied the game at 1 when Jessie Campbell broke free on the right wing and scored off a pass from Kate Thirolf.
Westminster had taken a 1-0 lead on a Jen Markowitz goal off an assist by Kristen Lewis with 17:07 left in the first half. The scoring play began with a free hit by Sara Warner.
Kirby, who had 10 saves yesterday, made five outstanding saves to protect the lead and it appeared the Owls might sneak into the finals.
But Haley wasn't to be denied in overtime.