Severn Boys Football leads St. Mary’s 3-0 in MIAA B conference final to cap perfect season – Capital Gazette

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When Severn boys football last finished a season without the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference title — the last time it lost a conference game, even — the coronavirus pandemic was still in the works. month. Finishing this season with a title would have been reason enough for the Admirals to celebrate on Sunday.

But to do that, not only win a title by beating rival Anne Arundel County but finish the season 17-0?

“It’s something you only see in the movies,” said senior defender Kijana Lloyd. “It looks like a movie.”

Severn capped off their undefeated season with a plate, beating St. Mary’s, 3-0, to claim the Conference B title at UMBC. It’s the Admirals’ seventh MIAA crown and the first time they’ve won two in a row since winning three in a row from 2014 to 2016.

Severn can trace their last loss to Week 1 of the 2021 season against Archbishop Spalding, and their last Conference B loss came in the semi-finals of the 2019 tournament. The last time they fell to St. Mary’s? We would have to go back even further.

“This team has done a great job of taking each game as an individual game, not looking back and showing every team that has played in front of us the ultimate respect,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “We were lucky to have the players leading the table this year and win another championship.”

When the Admirals returned to the field for a fall campaign after losing the 2020 season to the pandemic, their handful of seniors and a larger group of underclass kids had to decide what kind of team they wanted to be.

McCarthy didn’t know what to expect from those 12 juniors at the time. What they have shown him over the past two years has eclipsed his expectations.

“I think the consistency of culture, passed down from year to year, really defines the mindset and tone of our team,” the coach said. “To be frank, we go into every season thinking we’re going to win a championship. But to stay unbeaten this year was really special.

Just like a year ago, the Admirals (17-0) exploded in the MIAA B conference. Severn scored 88 goals this fall and gave up just 11. He allowed just one goal in nine games and had six shutouts.

Skills and a determined mindset have contributed to this, the players and the coach agree. But the true rock-solid friendship the boys have forged this year has made this perfect fall even more special.

“We’ve become a lot more tight-knit this year – united,” said elder Davis Cawlfield, who scored a goal in the final. “It was really cool to have a bond all season and get a championship.”

Severn scored four goals in the first 20 minutes of an Oct. 26 game against St. Mary’s. On Sunday, the Saints’ defence, though laden with lower class men, would not give the Admirals the same chance. The defenders stalked the admirals in the box, causing misfires. What they did not prevent from reaching the goal, Erik Chick hooked, since he made three saves.

Severn's Davis Cawlfield celebrates after scoring the first goal of the game in the first half of Sunday's MIAA B Conference Championship game against St. Mary's at UMBC.

Severn junior Andrew Beard connected with Cawlfield for the first goal of the game. Beard raced to the right corner as Cawlfield found an empty space and fired past Chick for a 1-0 lead.

Spreading the ball wide was part of the Admirals’ game plan.

“That’s what got us goals,” said senior midfielder Alan Tchamourlysi, “so that’s what we did. And it worked.

It didn’t destroy St. Mary’s. The Saints pressed for the equalizer as Chick, equally unfazed, put in shots and doubled his save tally at half-time.

Even so, St. Mary’s just couldn’t hold onto the ball on the offensive end, and the occasional breakaway wasn’t going to be enough. The Severn forwards remained at St. Mary’s ready to make the most of their next opportunity.

On another corner, Beard kicked the ball into the box. A kick hit a Saints defender, who pushed it away with his knee.

Severn's Nick Melfi is lifted into the air by teammate Kijana Lloyd after scoring a goal in the first half of Sunday's MIAA B Conference Championship game against St. Mary's at UMBC.

The moment sophomore Nick Melfi found him, he doubled the Admirals’ lead. His teammates lifted him into the air, aware that a two-goal deficit would be difficult for any opponent to overcome.

The Saints, however, did not back down. Wilson Wood proved it when he lined up a powerful shot into the arms of junior Severn keeper Will Hudson.

“We bent, but we didn’t break much,” Saints coach Corey Childs said. “A great performance from all the guys. … I hope they take advantage of this experience and build on it for next year.

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Severn’s lead grew to 3-0 shortly after as Ammar Yusuf found senior midfielder Cole Keefer for the final goal.

“Just keep moving the ball,” Yusuf said. “We have a lot of guys with a lot of talent in this team. We are able to adapt to any type of defense.

In the dying minutes, Severn emptied the bench and loaded the pitch with seniors. They took to the field with one mission – to keep the ball forward, as their teammates had been – and succeeded.

That had been McCarthy’s goal, to make sure all the seniors on the bench went out onto the pitch to thank them.

“When I talk about culture, I’m not just talking about the starters but the players who have been with the program who maybe don’t see that much time, unfortunately,” McCarthy said. “But that’s what we do. They are such great contributors to the team. … These well-deserved seniors were going to step onto the pitch and celebrate.

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