Victor Garcia’s Double-OT Goal Lifts Purdue Calumet to Upset Over First-Place Roosevelt

PUC-PeregrinsVictor Garcia’s goal midway through the second overtime spelled the end of a 11-match winning streak for Roosevelt University and gave the Purdue University Calumet men’s soccer team a thrilling 1-0 win over the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s first-place team Wednesday.

Garcia (Whiting, Ind./Clark/South Suburban), a senior midfielder for the Peregrines, connected on a clear look to the near post to beat the Roosevelt keeper in the 105th minute with the help of an assist from junior Papa Otoo (Bradenton, Fla./Braden River). Otoo broke free on a counter attack down the left side and with two Roosevelt defenders focusing on the high-scoring junior, Garcia made a run down the right half of the field, took one touch to settle Otoo’s cross before putting the ball away for the winner.

Purdue Calumet (8-5-1, 5-2-1) handed the Lakers (11-3-0, 6-1-0), who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll, their first loss in the conference and gave the Peregrines 16 points in the conference standings, good for a tie for third place with three league games remaining. The top seven teams make the CCAC Tournament. If Purdue Calumet holds its positon, it will give the Peregrines their first postseason berth since the program was reinstated in 2012.

“This was a massive win for us,” Purdue Calumet head coach James Drzewiecki said of Tuesday’s victory. “It shows the growth of how far we’ve come along, how we play together and defend as a team. We’re finally starting to evolve into the kind of team that is very difficult to break down, and that’s exactly what we need to be as we head into the postseason.

“That’s what’s going to put us in the position to make a much deeper run.”

While Garcia netted the game-winner, freshman keeper Miguel David (Spring Valley, Calif./Bonita Vista) continued to show his prowess in goal with three saves and his fourth shutout of the season, including his third in a row. Early in the second overtime, Roosevelt broke free for point-blank shot at the goal line, but David was there to make a stellar reaction save to preserve the win.

Roosevelt, who hadn’t lost since Aug. 30 prior to Wednesday, out-shot the Peregrines 16-10 and held a 13-3 advantage on corner kicks in the match.

Freshman Tulio Ribeiro (Itajuba, Brazil/Colegio Sagrado Coracao de Jesus) nearly won it midway through the second half, but his header off a Peregrine corner kick just missed, bouncing off the under half of the crossbar.

Purdue Calumet returns to action Saturday when the squad hosts Robert Morris in the second match of a doubleheader with the women’s teams. The Peregrine men will kick off at approximately 3:30 p.m. at Munster High School.