The Nate Gauthier-Devin McCarthy 1-2 punch was more punishing than the rain Wednesday afternoon.
Gauthier had four goals and an assist, and McCarthy had the reverse, a goal and four assists, as the Admirals (2-2) pulled away in the last 20 minutes against rival St. Mary’s for a 5-1 victory.
“It starts with the positions that they are playing, and the roles that we have asked them to play,” Severn coach Mike McCarthy said. “With their technical ability, we need one of them to hold up the play and wait for midfielders to fill in, and the other works off of that. Their combination play is very strong.”
Gauthier shook off the early downpour to give Severn the lead after a combination play with Devin McCarthy. The Admirals had control of play early after coming out with a lot of intensity. They pressed the advantage and had St. Mary’s (0-2) in its end consistently early on.
“We knew the ball was going to skip and we were going to get wet, but we just had to come out strong and get the first goal, and then get more,” Gauthier said. “It was going to be a sloppy game and it would not be perfect possession.”
The Saints responded fairly quickly, with Taylor Hawkins scoring unassisted to even the game at 1. Devin McCarthy put Severn back up top just before halftime. The senior took a pass from Gauthier that left him in open space in front of the goal, and buried a shot to the lower left in the 35th minute.
In the second half, with 26 minutes to play, Everett Cortes sent a hard shot in that went right to St. Mary’s goalkeeper Christopher Spindler. Jack McCarthy went high on a free kick three minutes later, as Severn again pressed the advantage. That press paid off when Gauthier notched his second midway through the half on another feed from Devin McCarthy.
“I thought we competed very well for 60 minutes,” St. Mary’s coach Corey Childs said.
Childs’ squad nearly trimmed the Admirals’ lead to one moments later when Hawkins sent a header off a corner kick over the bar. Severn goalkeeper Trevor Shanahan was a game time call to start after injuring himself in the opening minute of the team’s loss to South River over the weekend. He was competent in his few opportunities, including a strong snag on a deep cross from another corner kick.
With St. Mary’s pressing its defense up, Gauthier stayed high and took advantage of a long ball from Devin McCarthy with 10 minutes remaining. The ball put Gauthier into open space on a 1-on-1 situation with Spindler, and the junior ably finished.
“In the first half, St. Mary’s did a much better job closing down space, but we knew once we scored another goal that they would just keep coming,” Gauthier said. “We opened them up much better in the second half.”
Gauthier concluded the scoring three minutes after his third goal, finishing off an initial run and attempt by Devin McCarthy down the left side and into the goal mouth. Mike McCarthy was happy with his team overcoming the elements, but still wants cleaner possession and passing in the final third of the field.
“I hope Nathan and Devin’s play off each other continues,” Mike McCarthy said. “As a team, we had some lapses again today in possession and in our physicality. We need to tighten up and make that last pass so something good can happen.”
Severn 5, St. Mary’s 1
Goals: SM — Hawkins; SE — Gauthier 4, D. McCarthy.
Assists: SE — D. McCarthy 4, Gauthier.
Saves: SM – Spindler 6; SE – Shanahan 4.
Half: SE, 2-1