It took a split second for Severn's Mike Bailey to score the winning goal in yesterday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference boys lacrosse quarterfinal against Boys' Latin.
The questions surrounding its validity, however, may linger for much longer.
Bailey's shot entered the net almost simultaneously with the final horn, sending the sixth-ranked Admirals to a 7-6 win before an estimated crowd of 1,800 at Calvert Hall. That earned Severn a spot in Tuesday's semifinals against Loyola.
It also sent the fourth-ranked Lakers home scratching their heads.
"That's a tough way to lose," said Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver. "The [timekeeper] said 'zero' at the sidelines before the ball went in, but he's so far away from the play. The clock, the horn ... I don't know. You tell me."
After surrendering an early 4-1 lead by allowing five of the next six goals, Severn (12-7) tied the score at 6 on Brandon Wright's second goal with 4:03 left.
That's how it stayed until the final moments. With 1:01 left, a personal foul on the Admirals put the Lakers a man up for all but the final second, and seemingly in position to win.
It was the short-handed Admirals, however, that gained control, peppering the Lakers' goal with shots in the final seconds before Bailey -- a moment after the penalty had expired -- finished the job from 5 yards out.
As Severn celebrated, Shriver protested, claiming the goal came after the horn. The appeal landed on deaf ears.
"We could've lost in overtime," Shriver said. "It's just a shame it didn't get there."
Goals: BL--Loizeaux 2, O'Shaughnessy 2, Conkling, Walterhoefer; S--Bailey 2, Wright 2, Habeck, Werner, MacMullan. Assists: BL--Loizeaux, O'Shaughnessy; S--Houser 2, Habeck. Saves: BL--Sheain 12; S--Larkin 13. Half: 4-4.
No. 3 McDonogh 11, No. 7 St. Mary's 10: The third-ranked Eagles squandered a five-goal advantage with 11 minutes left, but took the lead for good on Jed Prossner's goal with 27 seconds left to edge the Saints.
Prossner finished with six goals and an assist to lead McDonogh (19-4), which advances to Tuesday's semifinals against Gilman.
"When we had the ball with less than a minute left, our coach yelled for us to go to the goal," Prossner said. "We wanted to take the last shot, and luckily we got it in."
St. Mary's (8-10) was paced by Matt White (five goals, two assists), Michael Fretwell (13 saves) and defender Ted Turnblacer.
Goals: M--Prossner 6, Benson 2, Shek 2, Holmes. Assists: M--Benson 2, Prossner, Shek. Saves: M--Bates 15; SM--Fretwell 13. Half: McDonogh, 7-3.