HAMPSTEAD — Hereford had twice as many players as Westminster No. 1 in their indoor lacrosse game Friday night at the Four Seasons Sports Complex near here.
But the Carroll County team wound up with twice as many goals as its Baltimore County-based opponent.
Westminster No. 1, comprised primarily of players from the Westminster High boys' varsity team, doubled the score on Hereford, 10-5, in the final game of this first-ever indoor session at Four Seasons.
A second Westminster high team, consisting of varsity and junior varsity players, also competed in the eight-team loop, which included teams from Liberty and South Carroll as well as Boys' Latin, a Baltimore private school.
Westminster No. 2 finished 4-4, tied for fourth.
Westminster No. 1, however, ended up at the head of this class, going 8-0.
Friday night's contest was billed as a post-season playoff game. But it meant nothing in terms of league standings to the Owls stickers, who had already clinched the championship.
Still, they undoubtedly wanted to put on a good showing for their dozens of supporters who lined the railing some 20 feet above the artificial turf field.
The game also meant a lot to second-place Hereford, which displayed a tough, physical style that could have worn down a lesser team.
This would have been particularly true if that team had only seven players, as Westminster did.
In the indoor game, where six players comprise a team, the county team had only one sub, and even that slim breathing room vanished early in the second half when a knee injury claimed Westminster's Matt Mathais.
By that time, Westminster was clinging to the remainder of what had been a substantial earlylead.
Early on, Westminster wasted no time getting to the Baltimore County team, as Chris Ahrens scored on a 20-foot shot only secondsinto the game. Less than two minutes later in the 12-minute first quarter, Dave Hogue scored the first of his four goals to make it 2-0.
But Herford tightened up for a time after that opening flurry, andgoalie Jeremy Bender helped his own cause with several bone-jarring checks of would-be Westminster shooters.
Westminster seemed to take charge midway through the second quarter as Hogue scored twice and Brian Minnich once to go up, 5-1.
Hereford, though, clawed back to5-3 at halftime. Hereford put the pressure on early in the third quarter, when the embattled Westminster squad was down to six.
"They kept bringing in fresh people and our boys were exhausted," said JohnWarehime, whose son, Jason, plays for the Westminster team.
The elder Warehime, filling in for missing regular team coach Jim Doolan, also had advice for his youngsters, who were being hounded by Hereford's physical, hard-checking tactics.
"I told them to watch their tempers. They had to suck it up a little and keep on going," Warehime said.
The game's turning point came when Westminster, clinging to its 5-3 lead, successfully rode out a man-short situation midway through the third quarter.
Then, immediately afterward, with Hereford short via a penalty, Ahrens hit the net with a head-on 30-footer to make it 6-3.
"That was the key," said Hogue later. "After that sixth goal, we got our momentum and never let up."
Near the end of thethird quarter, Jason Warehime went the length of the field to score and make it 7-3.
Westminster then continued the tattoo in the final stanza, with Ahrens scoring twice and Hogue once.
A weary group of youngsters discussed things in a post-game session where "I'm tired" was the most frequent quote.
"We slowed it down, controlled theball and took the best shot," said Jason Warehime, describing his team's strategy of patience in the game.
They also talked of the indoor game in general -- and they like it.
On that pressurized, compact field, only half as long as the outdoor version, "you really sharpen your teamwork and stick skills," Warehime added.
That team work was the key to the unbeaten season, Doolan said later.
Doolan, whose son Jeff (a Westminster High senior and varsity lacrosse member) organized the team, added, "They played well together. They had fun playing together. They were as good as they appeared to be."
But Hogue didn't seem to be thinking about how good his team was after Friday's final whistle.
Asked what it felt like being on the first-ever Carroll County indoor lacrosse champs, he smiled and said, "just tired."