The proverbial monkey is finally off the collective backs of Westminster High’s field hockey team, and Severna Park’s title is reign over.

The No. 4 Owls upended the second-ranked Falcons, 4-1, in the Class 4A state semifinals at Franklin’s McWilliams Stadium Wednesday evening. Westminster will take on Dulaney, a 7-0 winner over Magruder in Wednesday’s other semifinal, Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at Washington College for the state championship.

Junior attack Meghan Macera scored twice for the Owls (18-0 overall), and seniors Amanda Irving and Ashton Maseth each scored. Junior midfielder Hannah Miller had the lone for Severna Park (16-2-1).

In an impressive display of precision shooting, Westminster rattled the black board on the lower end of the goal three times in the final 30 minutes to send the Falcons’ bid for a sixth consecutive crown crashing down. Nearly a year ago, Severna Park denied the Carroll County school the 4A crown and a perfect season with a 2-1 decision in Chesterstown.

“We still have to keep going, but it’s definitely inspirational that we get through Severna Park because we tried so hard every year,” said Irving, an attack.

“We needed to play the way we know we can, and we needed to come back here because of what happened last year,” said Macera.

In last fall’s title game, Westminster had a 1-0 lead before Severna Park scored the final two goals, including the game-winner with under two minutes remaining in regulation for victory. The Owls struck first in the rematch Wednesday only to see the Falcons pulled even with 52 seconds left in the first half.

This time, however, Westminster stared down Severna Park and its 19 state titles and refused to blink.

“I told the girls you play to the buzzer and there’s a whole another half,” said Owls coach Mary Rivera. “That goal [Severna Park] didn’t matter obviously, but it could’ve and it could’ve came down to 6-on-6. If we had to do that, we had to do that.”

Like few teams have, Westminster dominated Severna Park with quality stick play and pure relentless over the final 30 minutes.

amanda irving and hannah milleWith under 19 minutes left, Severna Park tried to clear the ball out of the Owls’ end but Melanie Solomon stole the ball on the far left side and sent a pass towards the circle. Irving got control of the ball and quickly put a shot through the legs of Falcons’ goalie Cait Coletti, giving the Owls the lead for good at 18:06.

Macera got a pass from Ashton Maseth in open space and blasted a shot from about 15 yards out, extending Westminster’s lead. Macera officially expunge the memories of last year, taking a rebound off a Coletti save and send it back between the goalie’s legs with under five minutes left.

The Owls’ defense did their job, keeping Severna Park scoreless in the second half. Senior goalie Emily Colliflower had eight saves. 

“Our energy was so high,” said Macera, who raised her team-leading goal tally to 23. “It was such a different feeling from the last time at that time of the game.”

For only the fourth time in 25 trips to the state Final Four, Severna Park won’t play for the title. Falcons coach Lil Shelton said there was no doubt Westminster was the better team.

“They just drive the ball hard,” Shelton said. “We don’t see many teams that hit the ball that hard. I haven’t seen that since a long time ago.”

Though the Owls relished putting a year’s worth of angst to rest, they know it means nothing if they don’t finish the job Saturday afternoon in Chesterstown.

“We got to keep pushing,” said Irving, “no matter what jersey is out there.”