(CHARLOTTETOWN, PE) He knew it the moment it left his foot.
In the 90th minute, third-year Reds fullback Luis Garcia (San Antonio, TX), fired a laser from just inside the 18-yard box through a defender's legs and past the UPEI goalkeeper, who couldn't even react. It was his second goal of the game, and it gave UNB a 2-1 win over the host Panthers.
"It was a huge moment," said Garcia, who was named the Subway Player of the Game. "It was great to see the ball floating in there. When you hit the sweet spot, you know where it's going."
The Reds, now 5-2-2, came into the game a point ahead of the 4-5-1 Panthers, but had visions of coming away with three more to solidify their playoff position.
"Just seeing the effort from the guys and all the hard work they put in, we knew we needed to get three points somehow," said Garcia.
Looking to redeem themselves from a 3-0 loss at UNB last month, the Panthers pushed the pace early and had a chance to grab the lead when Cohen Reddick-Stevens (Cole Harbour, NS) was sent in alone, only to fire it off the hands of Reds' keeper Evan Barker (Winnipeg, MB).
That would prove costly, as the visitors would get on the board later in the half. In the 33rd minute, Garcia sent a low shot past Nathan Ford (Warren Grove, PE) for the 1-0 advantage.
The Panthers battled back in the 37th minute when Reddick-Stevens redirected a shot for the tying goal.
Garcia's second goal, in the 90th minute of play, was the difference.
With three regular season games remaining, the Reds now look to push for one of the two coveted Atlantic University Sport first round byes, currently occupied by Cape Breton and St FX.
"We saw today what it's going to take. It's going to take everything from every guy," Garcia said.
Both teams will be off next weekend, before resuming their schedule on October 18th and 19th.
The Reds visit Mount Allison on the 18th, with the Panthers head to Saint Mary's on the 19th.
RECAP AND PHOTOS BY: Thomas Becker/for UPEI Athletics