Boys Soccer: Plainfield South outlasts Lockport in shootout
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media October 16, 2012 10:24PM
Lockport's Brandon Iacaponi (19) races past Plainfield South's Miguel Espinoza (13). | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 18, 2012 6:53AM
Plainfield South already had rallied once Tuesday night, but a second comeback in overtime seemed nearly impossible as the final seconds ticked away.
As it turned out, though, this was Rodrigo Garcia’s night and nothing was impossible for the senior forward.
Garcia scored his third goal of the match with 2.4 seconds left in the final overtime period to tie it and added the clinching goal in penalty kicks as the Cougars fought off a valiant upset bid from Lockport with a 4-3 win in a Class 3A Joliet Central Regional semifinal.
“This is one of the best moments of my life so far,” Garcia said. “To score all three goals and the penalty kick, it’s amazing.”
The fourth-seeded Porters (7-11-3) led top-seeded South (13-7-2) 3-2 in the second and final overtime period after Wojciech Iwan scored on a header.
But in the closing seconds a deep throw-in for the Cougars led to a corner kick. When Lockport failed to clear the ball out of the box, Garcia was there, slamming it home with a high strike.
“I was begging for it,” Garcia said. “I said ‘I want the ball, I want the ball.’ It came to me, I saw it and didn’t even think about it. I just shot.”
Miguel Espinoza, Cesar Bautista and Emmanuel Sanchez scored for the Cougars in the shootout before Garcia’s goal gave them a 4-2 edge to clinch the win.
Lockport led 2-0 at the half behind goals by Dan Michalik and Anthony Wistocki.
Garcia brought the Cougars back with two goals, including the equalizer off a pass from Michael Decker with 8:25 to go.
Greg Zieba had seven saves for Lockport.
“Sometimes soccer can be a crazy game and this is about as crazy as I’ve seen,” Lockport coach Chris Beal said. “To be totally honest, I was already thinking about (the regional championship) Friday, then we had an opportunity to clear and didn’t and they tied it up.”