No. 9 Admirals stop St. Mary’s, completes perfect run to MIAA B soccer crown; McCarthy and Cawlfield score (VIDEO HERE!)
2021 MIAA B CONFERENCE SOCCER CHAMPIONS
SEVERN SCHOOL ADMIRALS
by Derek Toney
Tears flowed down Ammar Yusuf’s face as his Severn School teammates congratulated coach Mike McCarthy after winning the MIAA B Conference soccer title Sunday afternoon. McCarthy grabbed his junior defender, gave him a bear hug.
“Yeah you can do it,” said the longtime Admiral coach as Yusuf cried. “Yes, you can. Yes, you can.”
The No. 9 Admirals capped a season of near perfection with a 2-0 decision over St. Mary’s at Anne Arundel Community College. Juniors Colin McCarthy and Davis Cawlfield each tallied for Severn (18-1).
The Anne Arundel County school struck early, then followed with a late score to complete a perfect run in B Conference play. The Admirals, who lost to neighboring Archbishop Spalding in their season debut, won the final 18 decisions.
Severn did not play last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When we came Aug. 16, we had been together but we hadn’t been together, some of the sophomores had never played a varsity match,” said McCarthy. “We had a good group of sophomores and juniors, sprinkled in with some seniors. That was our mantra…unite as a unit.”
The Admirals had a balanced roster with six seniors, 10 juniors and six sophomores. Five sophomores started Sunday.
“It’s a big jump from anything they played, all praise to them,” said Colin McCarthy. “Coach kept us track, our motto ‘0-0-0,’ throughout the year really kept us going.”
The Admirals were head-and-shoulders above in the B during the regular season, winning all but two matches by a goal. Severn had little problem eliminating Indian Creek School in its playoff opener (semifinal) Thursday.
Against upstart and rival St. Mary’s (10-4-2) in the final Sunday, Severn had all the pressure.
“We were confident but not cocky. We knew we were the better team,” said Cawlfield. “We just had to execute and play a good game.”
The Admirals got the vital first score in the 8th minute from Colin McCarthy. It was set up by Yusuf who dribbled around a defender on the far side and laid the ball in front to McCarthy, who slotted it in.
Cawlfield added the clincher in the 71st minute, getting his foot on a Saints clear attempt and sending the ball into the corner. The decisive tally came a minute after a St. Mary’s free kick hit the top of the post.
After his team gained a pair of 3-1 victories during the regular season, Mike McCarthy knew St. Mary’s would be a tough out Sunday.
“They were compact, they didn’t give us too much room and defended very well,” said McCarthy. “We wanted to come out strong in the second half and it didn’t happen. I told my team against a team like St. Mary’s, who’s our archrival, the longer you let them hang around, the tougher it’s going to be.”
The Saints more than acquitted themselves Sunday, capping its finest season in two decades. The Annapolis school last played in a MIAA title match in 2005 when it claimed the B crown.
Saints coach Corey Childs believes Sunday is just the beginning.
“It’s not an overnight process, gradual improvements with our commitment to the program,” said Childs, who dedicated the season to St. Mary’s 2020 soccer seniors who did not play last season. “Instead of just being lacrosse players playing soccer, we have soccer players who can play.”
The Admirals will be the favorite to repeat next season with all but one starter (senior Reece Taylor) returning from Sunday’s starting core including Yusuf, who Mike McCarthy said was the defensive anchor.
“He knew that the stars were aligned,” said McCarthy, who guided Severn to its first title since a 3-peat run (2014-2016).
“This year was a special year with a group of kids that hadn’t even played one varsity game and step to this level and play the way they did,” said McCarthy. “It definitely bodes well for the future.”
MIAA B CONFERENCE SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
at Anne Arundel Community College
No. 9 Severn School 2, St. Mary’s 0
Goals: Severn – Colin McCarthy, Davis Cawlfield
Assist: Severn – Ammar Yusuf
Saves: St. Mary’s – Erik Chick 3; Severn – William Hudson 3
St. Mary’s 0 0 – 0
Severn 1 1 – 2