ELGIN—The Carl Sandburg College men’s soccer team scored three unanswered shorthanded goals and rallied to beat Elgin 5-3 on Wednesday afternoon in a Region IV Champions Division match.
After Elgin took a 3-2 lead early in the second half, the Chargers (5-2, 4-1) went down a man when freshman Manfred Gonzalez picked up his second yellow card. Sandburg, though, got the equalizer in the 47th minute from sophomore Mario Romero with an assist by freshman Zach Ziemba.
Freshman Chino Ayala then scored the game-winner in the 58th minute after he trapped a punt by goalkeeper Collin Jeffcoat, moved to his left and fired a left-footed shot from 25 yards out back across his body and into the upper right corner of the net.
“It was the most beautiful goal you’ll ever see,” Sandburg coach Allen Eskridge said.
Sophomore Kevin Aka added an insurance goal in the 86th minute when he stole the ball from the Spartans’ back line. Aka, who now has seven goals on the season, also opened the scoring when sophomore Joel Kouakou found him in the 21st minute. Aka returned the favor in the 45th minute, feeding Kouakou to tie the game at 2-2 going into halftime.
The Chargers were outshot 23-14, but Jeffcoat made 11 saves to preserve the victory.
“That was the best team effort I’ve seen in a long time,” Eskridge said. “All five of our goals were spectacular. It was the most ridiculous game I’ve seen in my life.”
Sandburg faces Kankakee at 3 p.m. Saturday at EastSide Centre in East Peoria in another division match. The Chargers’ next home game is against Richard J. Daley at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at Kleine Equipment Field.