Westminster clinched at least a tie for the Carroll County title when it defeated 10-time defending champion South Carroll on Tuesday.
The two teams still could have ended up tied at season's end, and while a tiebreaker most likely would have gone to Westminster, the Owls wanted no questions about who was the county champion.
Westminster finished the task last night, using a balanced attack to score an 11-6 victory over visiting North Carroll and lock up its first county title in 11 years.
Westminster coach Jim Peters said the Owls wanted the title for themselves.
"We didn't want any doubts," said Peters. "It was important to these kids this year to win it. We've worked for it."
Westminster (9-2, 5-0) dominated in this game, using its strong passing and ball-handing skills to control play. The Owls scooped up ground ball after ground ball, finishing with a 59-34 advantage and keeping possession for long stretches.
The Owls set up many goals with well-timed passes and cuts through the North Carroll defense.
"That's how we score most of our goals," said Greg Fisher, who had two goals. "When you pass the ball, you control the ball. When you control the ball, the [other team] can't get it."
The Owls got help from a number of places. Ryan Fisher (two goals, three assists), Josh O'Melia (two goals, two assists), Ryan Elwell (two goals), James Unglesbee (two goals) and Nick Beser (two assists) all contributed.
Westminster dominated in the first part of the game. The Owls outshot North Carroll (2-9, 0-5) by 17-6 in the first half. The Panthers got a shot in the game's opening minute -- but couldn't get another one for 13 more minutes.
The Owls scored on their first two shots (from Unglesbee and Ryan Fisher) and had a 2-0 lead just 1: 48 into the game. Ryan Esposito and Greg Fisher added second-period goals for a 4-0 halftime lead.
The Panthers finally scored on a John Dwyer goal 3: 35 into the second half. Dwyer scored all three of his goals in the second half to help the Panthers keep pace.
Goalie Dan Sullivan also played well for North Carroll, making 14 saves.
North Carroll coach John Piper said he liked how his team kept fighting in the second half despite being down by several goals.
"Westminster's got some horses," said Piper. "They've got some nice players."
The Owls have one more game left, a county battle against Liberty next week, but Peters is happy the county race has been settled.
"It's satisfying to me," said Peters. "We've got a nice team. This team has a good work ethic and drive."
Pub Date: 4/25/97