Smith scores 9 as Owls roll

Westminster13 North Carroll 8

Boys lacrosse

High Schools

May 18, 2006|By RICH SCHERR | RICH SCHERR,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Westminster attackman Pat Smith never got to play with his team in last year's state semifinals. With his arm in a cast, all he could do was watch from the sideline.

Last night, the senior made certain that he'll get one more shot.

Smith scored a career-high nine goals, helping the host Owls build a large early lead on their way to a 13-8 win over North Carroll in the Class 4A-3A, North regional final.

"I was so excited last year to get there, then five minutes into practice I break my arm," said Smith, who also had a pair of assists. "I'm kind of excited to get back."

The Owls (13-4), making their fourth straight trip to the state semifinals, will face Dulaney, a winner over C. Milton Wright yesterday, at Annapolis High School either tomorrow or Saturday. After starting the season 3-4, they have now won 10 straight.

Just as big as Smith's scoring, however, was the faceoff domination of senior Ryan Finch. Despite playing with two injured heels, Finch and sophomore Danny Mruk together won 21 of 25 face-offs on the night.

Westminster dominated from the outset, maintaining possession by winning the game's first 13 faceoffs and building an 8-1 lead after the first 17 minutes.

The bulk of the damage was done by Smith. In the first half, the senior time and again set up about 10 yards out on the left side, caught the pass and took, for the most part, shots that found their way to the back of the net.

Westminster coach Jeff Doolan said that the Owls weren't trying to set up Smith. That's just the way it worked out.

"We just really moved the ball well in the first half, and Pat just ended up the last guy to touch it a lot of times," Doolan said. "He's been shooting really well of late."

North Carroll (8-9), led by attackman Shane Clift (four goals), rallied later, scoring five of the final eight goals. The deficit, however, was simply too large.

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