Lancers win thanks to a header in overtime
Knowing how close Montoursville came to scoring late in regulation, Loyalsock coach Ian Scheller knew it was only a matter of time before the Warriors would break through for the game-winner as the game grew into overtime.
Zach Stopper wasn’t going to let that happen.
The senior received a great cross from Brady Dowell and headed in the game-winning goal 53 seconds into overtime as Loyalsock topped Montoursville, 1-0, on Saturday afternoon at Kenneth Robbins Stadium.
After failing to convert on several good opportunities earlier in the game, Loyalsock, and Stopper, came through for a big win over a cross-town rival.
“I told our guys, ‘We know this isn’t the best we can play, but at the end of the day, you just need to play as well as you can to create the opportunities. We gotta come out and score early because this team is dangerous,'” Scheller said as the rain fell heavily. “I definitely felt that they had a goal in them if we don’t score early and the resiliency just comes from these guys willingness to work hard for me and work hard for their teammates and that is something that I can not ever give them enough thanks for.”
Loyalsock took the opening kickoff of overtime and controlled. It took less than 60 seconds for Loyalsock to get out of the cold rain and earn its fourth win of the season. After he barely saved the ball from rolling out of bounds on the soaked turf, Alex Reed found Dowell, who dribbled down to the 18 and fired a cross to an open Stopper and he headed the pass into the bottom left side of the net, freezing Montoursville goalkeeper Zach Baylor.
“Really the whole play started with Alex Reed saving a ball that was going out of bounds. That was the crucial part of the play,” Scheller said. “That’s where it starts. Hard work. Coming to the outside, getting the ball into a playable position. Brady Dowell’s been our leading assister all season and he’s been clutch getting the ball to Zach Stopper who’s the guy who puts it in the back of the net for us.”
Like Loyalsock, Montoursville came plenty close to notching its own goal for the win. In the first 10 minutes, Colin Gorini set up a quick free kick from 30 yards out and nearly snuck it in under the crossbar, but Connor Rude made a great diving save. Moments later, Angelo Silvagni had an open shot from 15 yards out, but shanked it right.
More opportunities came for the Warriors but Rude was a wall in goal. The senior keeper made six saves, including five in the second half.
“Mookie’s been clutch for us all season. He’s made a lot of key saves. Even in the game against Hughesville, he’s made a lot of key saves,” Scheller said. “He makes big saves all the time. He may not see shots a couple minutes into the game, but he’s still ready. He’s always ready. He helps us know that if we can put one in the goal, we’re good from there.”
Montoursville keeper Zach Baylor, who is filling in for injured starter Ian Plankenhorn, played admirably in net. The sophomore made six saves and was under constant duress in the final minutes of regulation. He was aggressive off his line and snagged crosses out of the air that could’ve been trouble.
L–Zach Stopper (Brady Dowell), 80:53.
Shots: L 7, M 6. Corners: L 5, M 2. Saves: L 6 (Connor Rude); M 6 (Zach Baylor).
Records: Montoursville (1-4); Loyalsock (3-1).