Westminster goalie Emily Chamelin could only describe the Owls' sixth Class 4A state championship as "bittersweet."
The Owls field hockey team took the title, but so did Quince Orchard after the two dueled to a 0-0 double-overtime draw yesterday at Goucher College's stadium.
Chamelin would rather have faced a penalty-stroke shootout than share the title.
"I've been going through stroke periods my entire high school career. If we can do it in the semifinal, then we should be able to do it here," said the senior All-Metro goalie, who has faced shootouts in three straight state semifinals.
Quince Orchard also won its state semifinal Monday on penalty strokes, but the state final doesn't go that far. If no one wins after 60 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute seven-on-seven overtimes, co-champs are crowned.
Quince Orchard coach Jenna Seigel, whose Cougars (11-2-1) had never won a state field hockey championship, said she, too, would have preferred a shootout.
"I don't think [sharing the title] is a bad thing, but I don't think the kids know how to react," Seigel said. "I'm very happy to have a state championship trophy and all that, but the kids aren't sure if it's good or bad and that's hard for the adults who are with them, too."
Still, the tie seemed to satisfy the Cougars, who toasted their title with apple cider before the ride back to Gaithersburg, while some of the Owls (11-3-2) could not hold back tears of disappointment during the awards ceremony.
"It's not what we were expecting," said Owls senior Lydia Eppig. "We were expecting to come here and win. Things don't always come out as you expect them to, but I wish it would have ended differently. It's our last game."
The Owls were particularly heartbroken. They had the best chance to win when Lauren Hart set up what appeared to be a sure goal in overtime.
On a breakaway with 1:30 left in the first overtime period, Hart faced Cougars goalie Megan McKinney one-on-one in the circle. Hart hit the ball to McKinney's right and headed around the keeper, but McKinney tripped her. Instead of Hart having an open shot from about 3 yards away, the Owls got a penalty stroke.
Shannan Finch took the stroke and aimed for the corner over McKinney's left shoulder, but she missed the angle and sent the ball sailing wide of the cage.
"When Lauren got tripped, that cost us the game right there," said Eppig, "because the ball was wide-open."
Through regulation and the first overtime, the action was mostly even, but the Owls had the edge in overtime, taking five shots to the Cougars' four. Two of the Cougars' shots, however, came in the final 37 seconds. Chamelin stopped both to bring her saves total to nine.
"We have nothing to be ashamed of," Chamelin said. "We played our hearts out. We just could not score. I believe field hockey's about having fun and doing your best. If you can't score - I know that's part of the game - but if you leave everything out on the field, then you've done you're job."