Spalding runs past Severn, advances to first MIAA A lacrosse semifinals; Weisshaar scores four goals
by Donald Daniels
Any thoughts that nerves would overtake Archbishop Spalding lacrosse in its biggest playoff game in its history Saturday, the Cavaliers quelled the notion succinctly.
Archbishop Spalding defeated Severn School, 14-7, in a MIAA A Conference quarterfinal contest at Kelly Field in Anne Arundel County. Junior Mike Weisshaar had a game-high four goals for the Cavaliers, while Josh Tang and Ryan Schrier each recorded hat tricks.
Spalding, the No. 2 seed, established a 7-2 halftime advantage en route to securing its first MIAA A postseason victory and first trip to semifinals. The Cavaliers will play three-time defending champ Calvert Hall College at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium Tuesday evening.
“We were excited and ready to go, especially knowing the magnitude of the game by jumping on them [Severn] early and keep things going,” said Spalding coach Brian Phipps.
Unlike the regular season matchup that saw the Cavaliers overcome a 3-1 deficit then rolled to a 13-5 victory over their Anne Arundel County rivals, Spalding ripped off four goals in a span of five minutes with Nick Gutierrez, Weisshaar and Tang scoring in the opening minutes.
“We wanted to start off hot, just keep the pedal to the floor and keep going,” Weisshaar said.
Lawrence Dring got Severn on the board at the five-minute mark in the first, but the Admiral tally was countered with a Finn Kelly (two goals) score in the final minute.
Tang and Kelly padded the Spalding lead in the second quarter with a goal apiece. Severn’s Paul Baldwin fed a cutting Andrew Beard just before the intermission horn as Spalding led 7-2 at the halftime break.
Trailing 11-3, the Admirals made a strong push at the end of the third and the start of the fourth quarter by peeling off three straight goals. Justin Queen started the rally, then Reid Gills won ensuing the face-off and sprinted down for the score and a tally for Conner Layden gave Severn some much needed steam.
The surge was quelled by two Jacob Oliver saves in the fourth and back-to-back goals from Weisshaar, including his 40th of the season, to put a bow on the contest for the Cavaliers.
“The playoffs have been the only thing on our minds, now that we are here we got to show out and score at will and that’s what we did tonight,” Schrier said.
Despite the loss, Severn coach Joe Christie had a lot of positives to feel good about Saturday. The Admirals rallied late to knock off rival St. Mary’s Tuesday, and followed with a victory over Mount St. Joseph in Thursday’s playoff opener.
“This team has made some amazing strides and beat some quality teams this season,” said Severn coach Joe Christie, whose team was the No. 7 seed. “Given everything that happen over the past year the theme of ‘Never take anything for granted’ spread from all seniors to every game and every practice.”
The Cavaliers will make a 20-minute bus ride to the state capital Tuesday evening where they will attempt to reach their first MIAA A final. They’ll have to dethrone Calvert Hall, which defeated St. Mary’s at Pascal Field Saturday afternoon.
Spalding defeated The Hall, 14-8, a couple of weeks ago for their first-ever victory over the Cardinals.
“In order for us to get to where we want to go we have to go 1-0 each week,” Phipps said. “There are no days off in this league, everyone is tough, but we got our eyes set on the semi-final.”
“We got to keep playing our lacrosse, they [Calvert Hall] are a tough team, but we got it,” said Schrier, “I am pretty confident in our squad.”
MIAA A CONFERENCE QUARTEFINAL
ARCHBISHOP SPALDING 14, SEVERN SCHOOL 7
Goals: Severn – Beard 2, Queen 2, Dring, Gills, Layden; Spalding – Schrier 4, Tang 3, Weisshaar 3, Kelly 2, Gutierrez, Hammel
Assists: Severn – Baldwin, Beard, Queen; Spalding – Weisshaar 2, Gutierrez, Tang
Saves: Severn – Perez 5; Spalding – Oliver 7
Severn 1 1 3 2 – 7
Spalding 5 2 4 3 – 14