If you were handicapping last night's game between C. Milton Wright and Westminster, then you had to place a bet on the Mustangs (8-2), whose only losses coming into the game were to No. 7-ranked Mt. Hebron and No. 9 Dulaney.
But the Owls (6-3) had lost only to unranked Franklin and No. 12-ranked North Carroll, and each of those defeats was by a single goal. So everyone expected a close game.
And that's just what they got at Westminster's wind-blown stadium.
The Mustangs, coming off a big win over South Jefferson of upstate New York on Saturday, showed better control on offense than Westminster, more accurate shooting and a quality defense, not to mention getting a big effort from goalkeeper Chris Petrush, as they scored a 9-7 victory.
The teams could face each other again in the regional playoffs.
"I thought turnovers made the difference," Westminster coach Jim Peters said. "We failed to control it offensively. They're aggressive. We knew they'd be tough. They had a couple of quality long poles."
The Mustangs' starting defense consisted of Frank Hopkins, Brad Bonovich and Brian Bell.
"We played multiple defenses and an extra-long pole as much as we could," Mustangs coach Andrew Gerard said.
A zone defense proved especially troublesome for Westminster. And C. Milton Wright began the fourth quarter with an 8-5 lead, with four long poles on the field.
That kept the Owls off the scoreboard until 6:48 remained, when Jason Holman made a sensational run and scored, cutting it to 8-6. Holman, who played for Boys' Latin last season, scored two goals and made two assists.
"He [Holman] gave us fits," Gerard said.
Gerard thought his team did a nice job on ground balls and time of possession, even though Westminster outshot the Mustangs 27-17 and dominated faceoffs 16-2.
Colin Volrath led the Mustangs with two goals and two assists, followed by Joe Scanlon with two goals. But seven different C. Milton Wright players scored, the kind of balance that is tough to defend against.
In addition to Holman, Westminster got two goals from Doug Dietz as five different Owls scored. Dietz's goal with 1:11 left in the first half cut the Mustangs' lead to 5-4.