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Garza Sparks 2-1 Upset of No. 10/19 Marquette on Senior Day
Koray Yesilli scored the winning goal in DePaul's 2-1 victory over No. 10/19 Marquette on Senior Day.


Koray Yesilli scored the winning goal in DePaul's 2-1 victory over No. 10/19 Marquette on Senior Day.

Nov. 8, 2013

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CHICAGO – You couldn’t have scripted a better ending to a very tough DePaul men’s soccer season than what took place Friday on the Wish Field pitch.

On a day when the soccer program paid tribute to seven seniors, the Blue Demons gave them a fond farewell with an exhilarating 2-1 BIG EAST Conference victory over No. 10/19 Marquette before a Senior Day and Field Trip Day crowd of 740.

This went beyond knocking off the first-place team and spoiling Golden Eagle plans to clinch a BIG EAST regular-season title.

“The seniors have sacrificed so much for us the last four years, and we can’t thank them enough,” said Art Garza who sparked the upset with a goal and an assist. “This is the only way we know how to do it.

“So much was on the line today. This game was much more than a win or a loss. And for the seniors, there’s no better feeling than ending your career with such a big win.”

DePaul coach Craig Blazer started all seven seniors---Eric Sorby, Jared Blincow, Thiago Ganancio, Kyle Gustafson, Cale Hartle, Zach Forbes and Michael Stankiewicz---and left them in for much of the first half. Forbes did a great job marking Marquette's 6-foot, 7-inch Axel Sjoberg on set pieces.

Sorby, who was among the top five goalkeepers in the nation in saves for almost the entire season, had to leave the game with an injury in the eighth minute.

In came freshman Quentin Low for the first game action of his career.

Garza and Blincow teamed up in the 24th minute to alleviate some of the pressure on their rookie keeper.

“Jared had the ball and there was no pressure on him,” Garza said. “Marquette has a 6-7 center back (Sjoberg from Sweden), and I tried to get a far away from him as possible.

“Jared played a perfect ball to the far post and I had the easy job to head it in.”

Marquette (10-5-2, 6-2-1) came right back in the 29th minute as C. Nortey scored from close range---the Ghana forward's ninth goal of the season.

“After they scored, there was no reason to panic,” Garza said. “We knew we had another goal left in us.”

In the 33rd minute, Garza lofted a corner kick to the open side of the far post and Koray Yesilli scored the game-winner with a timely header.

“On my corner kick just before that one, I had hit it a little short and their big guy (Sjoberg) knocked it away,” said Garza, who will head up next year’s team. “This time, I knew I had to kick it away from him and I put it back post. Koray did all the work on that one.”

Snapping a seven-game losing streak put a big smile on the face of DePaul coach Craig Blazer.

“Now the guys know what kind of result they can get when you put out effort the entire game,” Blazer said. “This will give us confidence going into next year.

“Anytime you can beat a top 10 team like Marquette that was first-place in the BIG EAST, and to do it with outstanding goals and good defense---I’m extremely proud of every single person in the program.”

Low stepped in and did an admirable job replacing Sorby.

“Those were the first minutes for Quentin,” Blazer said. “We always tell the guys to make sure you are ready for your opportunity. He was outstanding, and so much of the result goes to him.”

DePaul finished the 2013 season at 5-11-2 and 1-7-1 in the BIG EAST.

NOTES: Low played more than 82 minutes and came away with four saves… Marquette outshot DePaul 8-6, but the Blue Demons finished with a 6-5 edge in shot on goal… the home team had an 11-4 advantage in corner kicks… Garza led DePaul with two shots on goal while freshmen Pat Flynn and Kevin Beyer, junior Yesilli and Stankiewicz each had one shot on frame… Garza finished the season leading the team in goals with four, assists with three and points with 11… Stankiewicz had two goals and two assists for six points… DePaul was 0-4-2 in overtime games… Sorby ends his career No. 16 in the nation in total saves and No. 22 in the country in saves per game.