Carroll County field hockey teams dominated opponents from around central Maryland, winning three of four region titles.
In eight games, Carroll teams won seven and outscored the other teams, 15-6. But perhaps even more impressive was the offensive dominance of the countysquads, which outshot their opponents by a cumulative 131-46 margin.
Francis Scott Key, South Carroll and Westminster all begin the final stage of the field hockey season tomorrow, when the state tournament opens at Goucher College in Towson, Baltimore County.
* Class 1A Region I: Key's trip to the state tourney is the Eagles' 10th in the 16-year history of the event and their seventh in a row. They earned the berth with a 2-1 overtime win Thursday against Poolesville in Montgomery County.
And for the second straight game, it took a timeout called by Coach Marie Wilson to get the team headed in the rightdirection.
Just as she did in Tuesday's victory over Wilde Lake of Howard County, Wilson called a timeout with her team trailing, 1-0,and the offense obviously stalled.
Shortly after, the Eagles wereawarded a long penalty corner, and Dani Deeds took the corner, centered the ball to Wendy Galandak in the circle, and the game was tied. But unlike the 3-1 victory over Wilde Lake, Key was not able to sustain the offense Thursday, and regulation play ended with the 1-1 deadlock.
The winning goal came in classic Eagles' fashion, with CrissyNaurot taking the ball down the sideline and centering a pass to Galandak, who was just a few yards outside the cage.
Key, 7-7, opens the state event at 3 p.m. against Pocomoke of Worcester County, the Region IV winner and top seed with a 13-1 record. Pocomoke and Key tied for the state title in 1989.
* Class 3A Region I: South Carroll junior Missi Monroe picked a good time to score her first goal of theseason.
She scored with just under 1 minute, 30 seconds remainingin the first half and the defense did the rest, as the host Cavaliers went on to defeat Howard County's Centennial 1-0 to win the Class 3A, Region II championship Thursday. The Cavs take on No. 2 seed Calvert (12-1) at 3 p.m. in the state meet.
"Missi is one of our quickest players and all season long I've been looking for a wing," Coach Stacy Stem said.
Monroe's goal came after Erin Eaton took a hard shot that Centennial goalie Meghan Carr stopped. The rebound came to South Carroll's Audrey Van Norman, who pushed it to Monroe on the left side for the score.
Centennial, which finished its season with a 7-6-1 record, opened both halves strong, but had trouble creating solid scoring opportunities. The Eagles controlled a large portion of thesecond half, with South Carroll holding onto a 1-0 lead.
Stem said she was pleased with the second-half defensive effort, but knows her team can't afford to sit on a lead in future games.
"The defensereally held on and came through," she said. "We scored the one goal and then held onto the lead in the second half. That's something we need to work on -- working on control and not panicking."
* Class 4A Region