Top-ranked RedStorm pounds Patriots
by Randy Payton Special to OVP
WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — Pau Rodriguez scored one goal and assisted on two others to lead the top-ranked University of Rio Grande to a 5-1 victory over the University of the Cumberlands, Saturday afternoon, in Mid-South Conference men’s soccer action at the UC Soccer Complex.
The RedStorm, who are also ranked No. 1 in the NAIA Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI), improved to 12-1-2 overall with the victory and finished their MSC regular season schedule with a 7-0-2 mark against conference foes.
Cumberlands dropped to 7-6-1 overall and 6-2 inside the league with the loss.
Rodriguez, a freshman forward from Barcelona, Spain, helped Rio score the game’s opening goal, assisting on a marker by freshman forward William Paulino (Sao Paulo, Brazil) just 14:46 into the contest.
Senior defender Craig Davies (Wolverhampton, England) made it 2-0 when he scored on a penalty kick at the 32:35 mark of the first half and freshman defender Patricio Arce (Santiago, Chile) upped the lead to 3-0 with an unassisted marker just 2:52 into the second stanza.
Rodriguez netted his goal - also unassisted - at 56:42 before the host Patriots avoided a shutout when Pedro Antonelli pushed a shot past Rio junior goal keeper Jon Dodson (Tiffin, OH) just over four minutes later.
Rio Grande set the final score with 14:22 left in the match when sophomore forward Luiz Filho (Sao Paulo, Brazil) scored off of a crossing pass from the right wing by Rodriguez. It was the 21st goal of the season for Filho, who ranks second in the country in that category.
The RedStorm outshot UC, 19-5, including a 12-4 edge in shots on goal. Rio also had a 6-0 cushion in corner kicks.
Dodson had three saves in a route-going performance for Rio.
Joao Souza had six saves in the loss for the Patriots.
Rio Grande will close out its regular season schedule on Wednesday night when the University of Northwestern Ohio visits Evan E. Davis Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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