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