As the seconds ticked down in last night's Carroll County girls lacrosse game, the loudest screams came from neither No. 14 Liberty nor host Westminster.
Instead, they emanated from a set of bleachers on the opposite side of the field, where players from idle Winters Mill couldn't contain their enthusiasm.
With Liberty's 7-6 win, the Falcons earned their first county title, besting the Owls on a series of tiebreakers.
"It's kind of different when it's out of your hands - when you're not actually in the game playing for it," Winters Mill coach Courtney Vaughn said.
Nevertheless, it was a county title - the Falcons' first since beginning varsity play in 2004. And it took a late defensive stand by Liberty to make it happen.
Led by midfielder Amy Gladfelter (three goals), the Lions (12-2, 5-1 Carroll County) built a 7-3 lead midway through the second half, only to watch the Owls (9-4, 4-2) storm back to make a game of it.
After a goal by Alyssa Semone to cut the lead to three, Westminster's Ashleigh Rohrback scored twice in a minute to cut the lead to one. The Owls then had multiple chances to tie in the final two minutes but couldn't get off a clean shot.
For the Lions, who were knocked out of title contention with last week's 12-11 loss to Winters Mill, the win still had plenty of meaning. Liberty will be the top seed in the Class 2A-1A West regional, which begins later this week.
"Just to have a win like this going into playoffs will keep our momentum going," Gladfelter said.
No. 8 John Carroll 6, No. 7 Fallston 4 -- Tori Ripple homered in the top of the sixth inning to break a tie at 3 and lead the Patriots (11-6) past the Cougars. Ripple finished 1-for-4 and scored twice. Katie O'Hara added an insurance run in the seventh when she singled home Nicole Lowenstein. The Patriots' Becca Miles went 2-for-3 with a triple and a run scored.
No. 6 Franklin 1, River Hill 0 -- Jordan Eades pitched a complete-game one-hitter and drove in the only run as the Indians (18-0) defeated the host Hawks. The junior right-hander struck out 15 batters and walked two in the win. With the game scoreless, Eades lined the first pitch she saw up the middle to score Nicole Snee with the eventual winning run.
No. 3 Archbishop Curley 8, No. 2 Archbishop Spalding 1 -- Sean Thompson hit three home runs as the Friars (20-6) defeated the host Cavaliers. The senior also went the distance on the mound, striking out nine while allowing one run on four hits. It was Thompson's fifth complete game of the season.
Hereford 9, Franklin 7, 10 inn. -- Neil Deluca led off the 10th inning with a triple and Alex Dawson drove him in with the go-ahead run as the Bulls (9-8) defeated the Indians. Deluca, who entered the game in the seventh inning, drove a 1-1 pitch into shallow right field and advanced to third base when Franklin's second baseman and right fielder collided. David McEvoy scored three runs for the Bulls.
Sun reporters contributed to this article.