Boys Soccer: Bloom tops Lincoln-Way Central on late goal
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media September 6, 2012 10:50PM
Updated: October 9, 2012 2:31PM
Jorge Garcia missed a golden chance early in the second half Thursday, injured his leg later in the match, and saw his Bloom team come seconds away from a frustrating tie with Lincoln-Way Central.
He and his teammates were determined to play to the final whistle, though, and it paid off as Garcia scored with just two seconds left to lift Bloom to a 2-1 win in pool play of the Lincoln-Way Invitational in New Lenox.
“I had a couple chances and I missed a wide-open net,” Garcia said. “I just kept fighting until the end. I’ve never in my life scored a goal like that with only two seconds left. The feeling is great. You don’t expect a goal that late.”
It was especially unexpected since Lincoln-Way Central (5-2) was attacking with under 40 seconds left, but Bloom (5-3) countered in a hurry. Mark Mendoza took the ball to a corner and crossed it to Garcia, who didn’t miss.
“Our kids work hard from the first whistle until the last,” Bloom coach Kelly Gutierrez said. “That was a great win and was probably the best we’ve played this year.”
The Knights struck first in the 16th minute when Nick Kowalkowski headed home a Jacob Lysik cross on a free kick.
Bloom drew even on a free kick five minutes later, Osvaldo Sanchez’s shot beating Mike Dybala (8 saves).
Central dodged some second-half bullets, Garcia putting a point-blank chance wide and Dybala denying Cesar Flores on a breakaway with a kick save.
Garcia was injured on a collision but made sure he was in for the final minutes, though he said his leg was still “iffy.”
Jose Rodriguez made three saves for Bloom.
Both teams are 1-1 in pool play.
“This one’s very difficult to swallow,” Central coach Sean Fahey said. “Bloom’s a very technical and talented team and we defended really well for 79 minutes. We’ve just got to bounce back.”