When the Severn lacrosse team lost, 17-14, to defending Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference champion St. Paul's two weeks ago, the Admirals' chances for a post-season playoff berth were all but eliminated.
But Rob White's team did not give up, winning their last three games, including a 10-6 victory over Gilman Saturday, to clinch the final playoff spot in Division I.
The Admirals (12-5, 8-5) will play at Boys' Latin, the top seed in Division II, in the semifinals tomorrow at 3:45 p.m. In the other semifinal, St. Paul's will entertain Calvert Hall. The championship is set for 5 p.m. Friday at University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Severn last made the playoffs in 1990, when the Admirals fell to Loyola, 11-4, in the championship game. Last year, White was called to active duty in his Special Forces reserve unit during Operation Desert Storm and was unable to coach.
Against Gilman (11-7, 6-7) Saturday, it was White's senior standouts who took charge, scoring six fourth-quarter goals in a come-from-behind effort.
The Admirals trailed 5-4 with 3:53 left when seniors Jason Wade and Milford Marchant scored two goals apiece. Jason Moran and Jason Hurst added one each for the final margin of victory.
Moran's unassisted goal with 2:04 left gave Severn the lead for good.
"We have a lot of seniors," said White, whose team will lose 15 players to graduation this spring, "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 players] of the goals we set earlier in the year."
Wade finished with three goals and an assist to lead the Admirals.
"It was a great game between two very good teams," Gilman coach John Tucker said. "[Severn] is playing their best lacrosse of the year right now. They're very well coached, and their team is a bunch of winners."
The Severn-Boys' Latin playoff matchup promises to be quite a contest. The Lakers edged the Admirals, 6-5, in double overtime during the regular season.