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Academica pulls off upset to advance in NPSL playoffs
Bobby Ceja's 80th minute go-ahead goal in Academica SC's playoff game on Sunday earned him Player of the Match honors (Photo contributed).

Turlock’s Academica Soccer Club is advancing to the second round of the National Premier Soccer League Golden Gate Conference playoffs after their 3-1 victory over #4 ranked Contra Costa FC on Sunday afternoon. While Academica ended up winning by two goals, the majority of the match was tense and tightly contested.  

Academica kicked off the scoring early on in the first half as Felipe Lopez scored a goal in minute 12 to put the local team up 1-0. Nearly 12 minutes later, Braulio Maravilla of Contra Costa scored an equalizer to make it a 1-1 match.  

With defense on full display for each team, the 1-1 deadlock would remain standing until late in the game. Finally, in the 80th minute of the match, Bobby Ceja came up clutch and put the ball in the back of the net to give Academica a 2-1 lead. 

With only a one goal advantage with just 10 minutes of regular time left to play, David Mejia gave Academica some much needed breathing room with a goal of his own in the 83rd minute, making it a 3-1 match. This score would hold until the final whistle to give Academica the win and punch them a ticket to the second round of the playoffs. 

Ceja’s late game heroics to give Academica the lead earned him Player of the Match honors after the game. 

With the big win against Contra Costa, Academica will be on the road again to play #1 ranked Sacramento Gold FC in the semifinal round on July 9 at Capital Christian High School. The two teams have played each other twice already during the 2022 regular season. The two teams tied 1-1 in their first meeting back in April and Sacramento took home a 3-1 victory earlier this month.