Fittest loser
Article updated: 9/10/2013 8:41 PM

Late goal lifts Batavia over Elgin

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By Allen Oshinski

The last 2 minutes of Batavia's match with Elgin were a roller-coaster ride.

After giving up a goal on a mistake, the Bulldogs got a break of their own to pull out the win. Elgin's Joel Chavez scored on a free kick to tie the game with 1:30 left. Seconds later, Batavia regained the lead on an Elgin own goal. The Bulldogs then held on for a 3-2 victory in Upstate Eight River action at Memorial Field Tuesday afternoon.

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With Batavia nursing a 2-1 lead, the Bulldogs' goalkeeper was called for touching the ball outside the box. Chavez converted the resulting free kick.

Batavia (3-2) quickly pushed the ball up and, following a throw-in by Kevin Collins, the ball deflected in off an Elgin player. Just like that, the Bulldogs were back on top.

"You're up, you're down, it's what it is," said Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco. "We needed to do better at some things. We created better chances in the second half, but once we got up 2-1, you need to take better care of things."

Elgin (3-1-2) scored the only goal of the first half when Edgar Zavala floated a long shot into the top of the net.

The Bulldogs tied it early in the second half on Ian Larson's penalty kick.

That goal shifted the momentum to Batavia, which took its first lead on a goal by Jeff Lorden off a beautiful cross from Larson.

Larson had several other scoring chances, particularly in the second half. He missed just wide a couple of times, and Eric Whiteman made a diving stop of another shot.

"We've just got to be smarter," said Gianfrancesco. "We've got to be able to close it down. That's a good win for us just to recognize what it's going to take to win a game. We didn't want it to be that way, but that's what it was."

The first 20 minutes were mostly a feeling out period, with neither team creating many chances. Elgin came close when Daniel Geary got loose on a breakaway, but his shot hit the side of the net.

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