Taczak’s goal leads Sev­ern to third straight ti­tle, 1-0

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By James Peters

With 3:03 left in Sun­day’s Mary­land In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion B Con­fer­ence boys soc­cer cham­pi­onship match, Sev­ern sopho­more Tate Taczak found him­self in what he called a “fa­mil­iar sit­u­a­tion” — stand­ing alone in front of the goal fol­low­ing a well-placed pass from team­mate Nathan Gau­thier.

Shortly there­after, Taczak and his fel­low Ad­mi­rals found them­selves in what has be­come an ac­cus­tomed po­si­tion — con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons for a third straight time, thanks to a 1-0 vic­tory against third-seeded Saints Peter and Paul at Anne Arun­del Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

“Nate Gau­thier was able to beat two de­fend­ers and passed me ball,” said Taczak on what led to his goal. “I set­tled the ball and put in the left cor­ner.”

That ul­ti­mately pushed the Ad­mi­rals to an­other B Con­fer­ence ti­tle. It was a mostly dom­i­nant per­for­mance by Sev­ern, which held pos­ses­sion for much of the match. But the Ad­mi­rals were only able to put a hand­ful of qual­ity shots on goal.

“That’s the finicky thing about soc­cer: You play a great game and just have trou­ble fin­ish­ing. But I had con­fi­dence in my team to­day that they would fin­ish one and in the game of soc­cer, that’s all it takes,” said Sev­ern coach Mike McCarthy, whose squad played with­out key starters Devin McCarthy and Henry Reed, who were idled by in­jury this sea­son. “They were ready to play to­day. We dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion.”

Taczak, for one, was frus­trated by the team’s in­abil­ity to fin­ish, say­ing he had to re­sist the urge to blast the ball off the pass from Gau­thier. He in­stead set­tled it down and beat Sabres goal­keeper Natha­nial Shafer with a shot to the charg­ing goalie’s right.

“We kept pos­ses­sion through­out and we just kept at it and it fi­nally went in at the end,” said Gau­thier, who beat Quinn Cham­bers down the right side­line be­fore slip­ping through an­other de­fender and lay­ing the ball off to a wide-open Taczak.

Sev­ern’s abil­ity to keep con­trol of the ball stemmed from the play of de­fend­ers Everett Cortes and Jared Dove in the mid­dle and Henry Creamer and An­drew Volk on the out­side. That group helped limit Saints Peter and Paul to one shot on goal, which did not come un­til the sec­ond half, and a sin­gle cor­ner kick. Jack McCarthy and Spencer Wright aided in the de­fen­sive ef­fort and also helped keep pos­ses­sion with their pass­ing and ball-han­dling be­tween the penalty ar­eas.

“We knew they had a re­ally good striker Sev­ern play­ers cel­e­brate the goal by sopho­more Tate Taczak that gave them their third straight MIAA B Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship. [in James Hast­ings] but me and Jared were able to keep him un­der wraps,” said Cortes, who rou­tinely out­raced Hast­ings and others for long through balls to thwart any type of break­away op­por­tu­ni­ties in their op­po­nent’s kick-and-run strat­egy. “We knew his best strength was his pace.

“It’s a great feel­ing — three in a row. It’s tough in any sport to just win one cham­pi­onship. It took a lot of de­ter­mi­na­tion to win this one.”

Said McCarthy: “It means ev­ery­thing to the school and ev­ery­thing to the kids who play for the team.”

PAUL W. GILLESPIE/BALTIMORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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