RedStorm, Blue Raiders battle to 1-1 draw
by Randy Payton Special to OVP
COLUMBIA, Ky. — Saturday night’s showdown between fifth-ranked Rio Grande and No. 4 Lindsey Wilson turned out to be a classic showdown of Mid-South Conference powers.
The RedStorm scored early, the Blue Raiders scored late and neither team found the net in two overtime sessions as they played to a 1-1 draw in front of 633 fans at Walter S. Reuling Stadium.
Rio Grande saw its record go to 5-1-1 overall and 1-0-1 in conference play.
Lindsey Wilson is now 4-1-2 overall and 1-0-1 in the league.
The two schools have combined to win every MSC regular season and tournament title since Rio Grande joined the conference in 2009.
Saturday night’s renewal of the rivalry proved to be a physical contest. The two teams were whistled for a combined 27 common fouls - 18 against the RedStorm - in addition to eight yellow card cautions (five against Rio) and a red card ejection of Lindsey starting goal keeper Yuta Nomura just over 27 minutes into the match, forcing the Blue Raiders to play a man down the rest of the night.
Nomura’s departure came well after Rio Grande had taken a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal by senior midfielder Maxi Viera (Montevideo, Uruguay) just 5:07 into the contest.
That’s how the defensive battle stayed until Lindsey’s Musa Mawanda found the back of the net with just 5:54 remaining in regulation to knot the score at 1-1.
Neither team managed to get off a shot in the final portion of regulation and none of the three combined shots in overtime - two by Rio and one by the Blue Raiders - was on goal.
Rio Grande finished with a 9-8 edge in shots and both teams had four shots on goal.
Junior keeper Jon Dodson (Tiffin, OH) went the distance in goal for the RedStorm and recorded three saves.
Christoffer Gatara stopped three shots for LWC after taking over for Nomura.
Rio Grande returns to action on Wednesday night when Bluefield College visits Evan E. Davis Field for a Mid-South Conference meeting.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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