TOWSON — The state field hockey semifinals were Carroll County's Waterloo last year.
Three county teams advanced to the semifinals in 1990, andall were eliminated.
What a difference a year makes.
Two of the three county teams that advanced to this year's state semifinals earned victories Mondayat Goucher College and will play in state championship games Saturday.
Westminster nipped Magruder of Montgomery County, 1-0, in Class4A, and South Carroll edged Calvert by the same margin in Class 3A. Francis Scott Key was defeated by an old nemesis, when Pocomoke of Worcester County scored a 2-0 victory in Class 1A.
* Class 4A: Westminster dominated Magruder statistically, but won by the slimmest of margins on the scoreboard. The Owls had a 9-5 shooting advantage and had 11 corners to just two for the Colonels.
But the only goal camewith 1:50 to play in the first half, when Jill Sisson fired a shot that deflected off a Magruder defender and onto the stick of teammate Aurora Brown, who redirected the ball past goalie Becky Pellett.
"(The ball) came in at an angle that I usually miss," Brown said of the goal. Westminster appeared to gain momentum in the waning seconds of the half with another goal, but it was disallowed by officials because of an offsides violation.
While Westminster kept the ball bottled up in Magruder's defensive end during much of the first half, most of the second half was played in the middle of the field. Neither team generated much in the way of offensive opportunity.
"I thoughtwe dominated the first half more than we did in the second half," Westminster co-coach Brenda Baker said.
Magruder's defense generallysnuffed an Owls offense that had scored 12 goals in its last four games, including two playoff contests. Westminster was able to work theball downfield, but had trouble setting up plays in front of the cage.
"They didn't look ready to play today," Brown said of the Colonels, who arrived much later than the Owls for warm-ups and were listening to music before the game started. "But their defense was really tough."
The win puts the Owls (14-1) into the title game at 2 p.m.Saturday against a familiar opponent -- Severna Park (15-0) of Anne Arundel County. The Falcons topped county foe Old Mill, 1-0, in the other semifinal game.
The Falcons are perennial state title contenders who knocked the Owls out of the state semifinals last year. Severna Park won state crowns in 1987 and 1988 and reached the title game with a 15-0 record last year before losing to Bethesda-Chevy Chase ofMontgomery County, 2-1, in the title game.
Westminster won state titles in 1976, 1984 and 1985.
* Class 3A: South Carroll found itself in much the same position as Westminster -- outplaying Calvert but not dominating on the scoreboard.
In fact, only an outstanding, lunging save by goalie Brandi Miller during a stretch dominated by Calvert in the game's final moments helped preserve the 1-0 win.
Thewin puts South Carroll in the Class 3A title game, the first time the Cavaliers have reached the finals since they won a state title in 1983. South Carroll also won a state title in 1980.
"I think this is one of the best teams we've gone up against," South Carroll coach Stacy Stem said of Calvert. It was strong praise from a coach whose team faced two other state semifinalists and a region finalist during the regular season.
And though South Carroll had a 12-4 advantage in shots and a 7-5 advantage in corners, the Cavs had to hold on for the win.
Audrey Van Norman scored the goal on a scramble just to the left front of the cage, after the ball was served up by teammate Tracie DiDio with nine minutes to play.
The Cavs spent the next few minutes in Calvert's end of the field, and though they were unable toscore, they seemed well on their way to running out the clock.
But Calvert worked the ball back downfield and gave South Carroll fans some anxious moments with a couple of penalty corners and one close-range shot near the end of the game.
"I was nervous when my goalie had to make that last save," Stem said.
Jessie Disantostefano and Heather Fitzgerald also contributed some outstanding defense.
South Carroll (14-1) will meet Bethesda-Chevy Chase (15-0) -- the same team that beat Severna Park in last year's Class 4A title game.
* Class 1A: For the third consecutive year, Key ended its season against Pocomoke.
And for the second straight year, the meeting was not a good one for the Eagles.
Pocomoke knocked Key out of the tournament in last year's state semifinals, 2-1. The clubs played to a 0-0 tieand were declared co-champions in the 1989 title game.
Except fora couple of defensive lapses, the two teams played evenly, said Francis Scott Key coach Marie Wilson.
"If you take the two goals away,(the action went from) end to end," Wilson said. "It was even-up."
Pocomoke took the lead with less than 10 mintes to play in the first half on an unassisted goal by Christine Torres.