2016 MIAA B CONFERENCE
SOCCER CHAMPIONS SEVERN SCHOOL ADMIRALS
For much of Sunday afternoon’s MIAA B Conference soccer championship game, top-seeded Severn School and third-seeded Saints Peter & Paul tried to impose their vastly different styles, in a test of wills that remained scoreless for nearly 87 minutes.
With 3 minutes, 3 seconds remaining in regulation, however, the No. 18 Admirals (19-4 overall) flashed their incredible soccer skill one more time, as a pair of sophomores combined on a goal that propelled Severn to a 1-0 victory and it’s third consecutive MIAA B Conference soccer crown.
The winning goal occurred when Nathan Guathier dribbled around a defender in the right corner, and struck a cross that found Tate Taczak free at the 18-yard line. Taczak ripped a low hard shot inside the left post for the winner.
Severn, which plays beautiful technical soccer, controlled possession throughout, moving the ball left and right, with excellent passing and spacing. Deep in the offensive end, however, the Saints Peter & Paul back line, anchored by Quinn Chambers, Eric Peterson and Connor LeMire, was up for nearly every challenge, neutralizing every dangerous situation, with the exception of the final one.
According to Taczak, the game-winner came from a familiar situation.
“It happened multiple times throughout the season. He got the ball down the wing, dribbled near post, I showed in the middle, he later crossed and I took a touch and played it back post,” said Taczak of his score. “It was kind of frustrating early on in the half. I just kept missing and forced myself to take a touch.”
Severn owned the opening half, creating multiple opportunities, with its best coming with 6:22 left in the half, when Mitchell Hattar dropped a beautiful ball into the box which was headed just over the top of the goal by Taczak.
The Admirals continued to pile up the chances after intermission, but Saints Peter & Paul nearly scored first, when a free kick by junior Dominic DeLuca was headed over the goal by senior Cole Koski, with a 11:02 remaining.
According to Severn coach Mike McCarthy, the Admirals did not get frustrated. Rather, they stuck to their plan.
“The game plan coming in was to stick to our game. We did maintain possession throughout the entire game and had multiple opportunities. That’s the funny thing about soccer. Sometimes you just can’t finish, but I could feel it coming” said McCarthy. “We had the momentum, particularly in the second half. I told the team at halftime to be patient, not to get frustrated, which is a tough thing not to do, and keep creating opportunities. We did and eventually one of those went in.”
McCarthy pointed out that the Admirals, devoid of big stars, make their mark with their confidence.
“This is a team really made up of a lot of humble confidence. They are a really confident team, but they are humble,” said McCarthy. “They know how to play together. It is really no individuals, as you see. We scored 70+ goals this year, spread out across the team. It just shows the unselfish nature of the team. The bonding and trust they have in each other, that has kind of been our pattern year-over-year-over-year.”
And that pattern includes bringing home championship plaques.
“I keep telling the kids how hard it is to win a championship. You can have a very successful season, win a lot of games throughout the season, but when it comes November time, it’s a different season all together, and it’s just a mindset,” added McCarthy. “People have to realize how hard it is to win a championship and they get that. They just never strayed from their style of play. They kept their heads down and we just got the job done today.”
MIAA B CONFERENCE SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
(at Anne Arundel Community College)
NO. 18 SEVERN SCHOOL 1, SAINTS PETER & PAUL 0
SPP 0 0 — 0
SEV 0 1 — 1
SAVES: SPP-Shafer 4; SEV-Olsen 1.