Silvagni propels Montoursville boys to win

Montoursville’s Angelo Silvagni sometimes gets in his own head. That might be the most difficult game for the skilled senior and he was tested more than once Saturday to block out the negative thoughts and not get down on himself.

Did he get frustrated? Sure, but the Montoursville forward stayed mentally tough and engaged in the game.

The physical part of the game can, at times, come easy for Silvagni. It’s the game in his head that can sometimes knock him off.

But not Saturday.

After missing multiple open looks right in front of the net, Silvagni drilled game-tying and game-clinching goals late in the second half to propel Montoursville to an impressive 3-1 win over South Williamsport on Saturday at Penn College’s UPMC Field.

Silvagni had two early opportunities right in front of the net. He was off target on both.

Later, he had a wide open net from about 30 yards out when South goalie Brock Weaver was caught out of the net midway through the first half. The usually accurate Silvagni, who’s battling an ankle injury, missed that one wide right by about five yards.

The frustration began to mount.

Deep into the second half, Silvagni stood alone right inside the 18 and his shot was again high.

With South leading and under 25 minutes left, Silvagni wanted to redeem himself. A few minutes later he got his chance.

After receiving a pass back from a teammate, Weaver misplayed the inaccurate pass and Silvagni came swooping in, snatched the ball away from the South keeper and dribbled into the six-yard box and, making sure he wouldn’t miss, Silvagni ripped the game-tying goal just inches in front of the endline at 58:51. It was a moment for Silvagni to redeem himself as well as to let out a little frustration.

“It was frustrating in the first half to miss so many good opportunities like that,” Silvagni said. “That’s a problem I have sometimes. I get in my own head and bring myself down. My teammates helped lift me up and get my head where it needed to be and I was thankfully able to put some in.”

Bryce Bean scored the go-ahead and game-winning goal four minutes later when Mason Winslow quickly knocked the ball ahead to a sprinting Bean, who evaded the last defender and fired into the bottom left corner of the goal. Then in the 78th minute, Bean’s corner kick found Silvagni’s head, who flicked in the game-clinching goal, snapping Montoursville’s six-game losing streak.

“In that particular situation, just having him continue to stay focused. Continue to stay in position and wait for one to pop through for him,” Montoursville coach Bryan Pauling said of Silvagni. “We knew that would happen eventually based on how the game was doing and we’re just happy that he was there then it did.”

South’s front looked impressive in the opening 40 minutes. It kept Montoursville keeper Zach Baylor busy with 10 first-half shots on goal and Gabe Harvey scored the game’s first goal at 39:35. South’s midfielders were doing a nice job of gaining and keeping possession as they worked the ball ahead to the front. South had many good opportunities early on, but was shut down in the second half. Montoursville’s defense really tightened up in the final 40 minutes, allowing just three shots with none on goal. Baylor had a great first half with nine saves but was kept relatively clean in the second half. The backline of Justice Wheeler, Bodie Kaufman and Dominic Pulizzi played great and the return of Ian Plankenhorn, who missed the last five games, was noticeable.

“The thing that we struggled with is if we get behind, these guys have a hard time of continuing to do the fundamentals that we’ve been working on,” Pauling said. “We continue to tell them at half, we’re down a goal, we think there’s an opportunity to win the game based on how the game went and we just needed to hold the D and let our mids and forwards take the opportunity to get us back in the game. We’re working with some younger guys back there, paired with older guys intentionally to just get comfortable.”

Montoursville 3, South 1

SW–Gage Harvey (Curtis Sauers), 39:35; M–Angelo Silvagni (UA), 58:51; M–Bryce Bean (Mason Winslow), 62:55; M–Angelo Silvagni (Bryce Bean), 77:14

Shots: M 7, SW 9. Corners: M 3, SW 3. Saves: M 8 (Zach Baylor); SW 4 (Brock Weaver)

Records: South (3-4); Montoursville (2-6)