Severn halts Landon's 38-game streak in 7-6 victory

Mercer, fed by Phipps, scores with 7 seconds left

Boys lacrosse

High schools

March 15, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Michael Phipps assisted Chris Mercer's game-winning third goal with seven seconds to play as Severn upended Bethesda's Landon School, 7-6, ending the national power's boys lacrosse winning streak at 38 games.

The setback, the first for the Bears (0-1) since a season-opening 9-6 loss to Severn in 2001, was suffered on a bone-chilling night at Johns Hopkins University's Homewood Field, which still has 3-foot-high snow mounds on two sides.

"It's cold out here, and there's snow on the ground, but I couldn't ask for a better place to play," said the Maryland-bound Phipps, who scored twice. "We just wanted to be 1-0, but to be at Hopkins on this turf, beating Landon -- it feels great."

The game-winning play started with about 20 seconds left, just after Phipps' potential game-winner was deflected by Landon's goalie Matt Harrigan, who finished with seven saves in his first start.

Scooping a ball near midfield that came off a botched clearing attempt by Landon, Phipps found himself with a fast-break opportunity and spotting Mercer, who already has committed to attend Villanova this fall, near the Landon crease.

"Their goalie [Harrigan] had made a nice save on me, and they cleared it. But our attack rode really well, and the ball got on the ground and I picked it up," Phipps said. "I looked up and saw Mercer open on the backside, and he made a heck of a finish."

Said Rob Bordley, whose Bears were 20-0 last spring and are ranked No. 1 nationally: "That final goal -- my middie ran off when he should have been in the corner, so my goalie looks like the one who screwed up because he had no one to throw to.

"A different team produced [the streak]. This one's very young," Bordley continued. "We made a lot of mental mistakes, where [Severn has] got more seniors and had more poise. This will serve as a learning experience."

Landon led 4-2 early in the third period, but Severn scored three straight goals -- by Phipps, Mercer and Will Deane -- to lead 5-4.

Landon was far from done, though. Jake Byrne, who finished with three goals and an assist, tied the score at 5-5, and Peter Lamade put the Bears up 6-5 with 7:49 to play.

But after Severn defender Peter Mountaner raced three-quarters of the length of the field to make it 6-all with 6:50 to play, Admirals goalie Kip Turner kept his team in the game, making five of his 15 saves late in the game.

"There's a lot of expectations for us, because we have like [19] seniors back and eight starters," Phipps said. "This is what we expected to do, and we did it."

Landon had led 3-2 at halftime.

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