By Joseph Staszewski
Brandon Silva, still battling a hip injury, woke up at 10 a.m. Thursday and was ready to put on his uniform and cleats to compete for a chance at another city championship.
Terriers Coach Franco Purificato has been kidding him all season that the CHSAA Class AA boy’s soccer city title he won as a sophomore doesn’t count and that it belongs to that squad’s upperclassmen. If Silva, who was brought back from injury slowly in the quarterfinals, and SFP take home crown it would put him in rarefied air at the school with two.
“He said, ‘If you are going to do something, do it now,’” Silva said of Purificato. “We had a long talk about that and that’s what I’m trying to do, one more game and it is mine.”
He earned the right to play for the championship by helping St. Francis Prep fend off 25 minutes of heavy pressure from Fordham Prep and by putting a perfect through ball up to Brian Kilcarr for the game’s first goal. It put the Terriers on their way to a 2-0 win against the Rams in the semifinals at Belson Stadium. The win is SFP’s second victory over Fordham Prep this season and avenges last year’s semifinal defeat.
His pass led Kilcar towards charging Fordham keeper Cameron McGowan. Kilcar sidestepped him and out ran Chris Dimarco to an open net for 30th minute goal to make it 1-0. The pass was so good it left Kilcarr no choice by to score.
“He couldn’t miss that one right,” Purificato said. “[Silva’s] a playmaker. He put a ball on his foot, puts it where it needs to go.”
St. Francis Prep (12-3-2) extended its lead to 2-0 in the 38th minute thanks to a pretty goal by Ryan Jarrett, who took a short pass by Mike Frangos from the top of the box and drilled the shot into the upper left corner from 22-yards out. Jarrett, who had been in a scoring slump since the early portion of the season, felt there was no better time for a big goal.
“You want the ball like that every time, but it does always work,” Jarrett said. “When you hit it like that, you just watch it and admire it.”
Terriers’ goalkeeper Chris Kilcarr, Brian’s twin brother, was also something to watch. He made a leaping save on a shot by Alex Cannicotti midway through the first half with the score still tied. In the second half he knocked away a header by Dimarco in the 73rd minute and made a full-out diving stop on penalty kick by Chris Paganelli three minutes later to keep Fordham Prep (14-2-1) off the board.
“You can’t ask for better goalie than that,” Jarrett said.
Silva is hoping for an even better moment than Thursday night. He said the wait from 10 a.m. until game time felt like five days. He can only imagine what it will be like having to wait until 7:30 p.m. Sunday night to face rival Archbishop in the title game back at Belson.
“I was wishing it was at 10 a.m.,” Silva said. “I have that whole day. What can you do?” We are going to come out hard and come out to win.”