CHICAGO - A goal by sophomore forward Steve Garofalo in the 81st minute proved to be the difference as Robert Morris University took down Saint Xavier University, 3-2, in both team's regular season and Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) men's soccer finale Tuesday afternoon in Arlington Heights, Ill. The loss was very costly with the Cougars (7-9-1 overall/6-4-1 CCAC) losing a chance to move among the top four teams in the final conference standings and host a first round game in the CCAC Men's Soccer Tournament. SXU never led in the game, but tied things up twice before the eventual game-winning goal by Garofalo.
The game's first goal came off the foot of RMU senior midfielder Gordy Gurson in the 21st minute of play following an assist by senior midfielder Bobby Hurwitz. In the 32nd minute, junior midfielder Brandon Simoes
(Brampton, Ontario, Canada/Olivet Nazarene/St. Edmund Campion) tied the game, 1-1, finding the back of the net on a scoring play set up on a nice feed by sophomore forward Marco Gutierrez
(Stone Park, Ill./St. Joseph). The game remained tied heading into halftime before the host Eagles took back the lead in the 55th minute on a header goal by senior forward Stefan Zindovic. The go-ahead goal by Zindovic was created by a cross by freshman midfielder Irving Eloiza.
SXU answered the call again tying the game at 2-2 in the 71st minute when junior defender Xavier Corona
(Cicero, Ill./Morton College/Morton) finished off a scoring attempt by Gutierrez that rebounded off the RMU keeper. Unfortunately for the Cougars, Garofalo put the Eagles ahead for good on his game-winning goal 10 minutes later on a shot from the left side. Zindovic provided the game-winning assist. Senior keeper Kyle Held
(Palatine, Ill./Palatine) finished the game with five saves for SXU.
Saint Xavier (7-9-1 overall/6-4-1 CCAC) takes the sixth seed into the 2013 CCAC Men's Soccer Tournament, which begins on Saturday, November 9. The Cougars will not know their opponent until all remaining conference games have completed this evening to determine which team will earn the No. 2 seed in the tournament.