Severn coach Rob White called for senior leadership the last few weeks of the season as the Admirals made a run at an Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference playoff berth.
Yesterday his seniors responded in dramatic fashion, scoring six fourth-quarter goals to give No. 6 Severn a 10-6, come-from-behind victory over host No. 5 Gilman and capture the final playoff spot in Division I.
The Admirals will play at No. 2 Boys' Latin, the top seed in Division II, in the semifinals Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. In the other semifinal, top-ranked St. Paul's will be host to No. 3 Calvert Hall, which finished in second place in Division II.
With the win, Severn (12-5, 8-5) claimed the last playoff spot outright, avoiding a three-way tie with Gilman and Loyola.
Trailing 5-4 with 3:53 left in the game, the Severn seniors took over, as Jason Wade and Milford Marchant scored two goals apiece, and Jason Moran and Jason Hurst added one each.
"We have a lot of seniors," said White, whose team has 15 players who will graduate this year, "and they responded when they had to. We've been in kind of a sudden-death situation the last four or five games. [The coaches] just kept reminding [the seniors] of the goals we set earlier in the year."
Severn led 3-1 after the first quarter on goals by Wade, Duncan Slidell and Tod Winchester, but Gilman scored four straight times to build a 5-3 lead with 3:27 left in the third quarter.
Severn scored the next three goals, reclaiming the lead on Wade's unassisted goal off an out-of-bounds play with 3:38 left in the game.
Dylan Schlott, a 6-1, 210-pound sophomore attackman, evened the score 13 seconds later on his second goal of the game.
Moran scored the game-winner with 2:04 left, and Severn scored three more goals in the final 1:46 to put the game out of reach.
Gilman (11-7, 6-7) was led by Schlott and junior midfielder Peter McGill, who scored two goals each.
The Greyhounds, whose roster is dominated by underclassmen, also got goals from sophomores Mike Allan and Stewart Kesmodel.
"It was a great game between two very good teams," said Gilman coach John Tucker. "I told our kids that sure, the future is bright for us, but sometimes you have to seize the opportunity you have, and they played their hearts out. I'm very proud of them."
Wade, the leading scorer in the A Conference, finished with three goals and an assist to lead Severn.