Rio men drop Eagles, advance to RSC finals

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Jorge Guinovart scored two of the University of Rio Grande’s four second-half goals, helping the top-seeded RedStorm pull away for a 6-1 win over No. 4 seed Asbury University on Wednesday night in the semifinal round of the River States Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament at Evan E. Davis Field.

Rio Grande, which is ranked third nationally, ran its record to 17-1-1 with the victory and punched its ticket to Saturday night’s title game against second-seeded — and ninth-ranked — West Virginia University-Tech, which posted a 6-0 win over No. 3 seed Midway University in Wednesday’s other semifinal.

Asbury, which dropped a 5-1 decision to the RedStorm in the regular-season finale for both teams on Oct. 29, finished 11-8-1 with the loss.

Guinovart, a junior from Bracelona, Spain, scored each of Rio’s first two goals after halftime, extending the 2-1 lead the RedStorm held at the intermission.

The first of his two scores came 4:15 into the second stanza when he took a right corner pass from junior Joao Paulo Antonio, dribbled into the box and fired a shot past Asbury net-minder Brandon Patterson.

Just over six minutes later, Guinovart gathered in a long pass from senior Heitor de Melo, which skipped off the wet grass and behind the Eagles’ defensive back line, and found the back of the net again for a 4-1 advantage.

Rio set the final score when senior Jeremy de Hoog scored on a penalty kick at 71:14 and sophomore Ben Mendoza ushed in the rebound of a loose ball in front of the goal with 35 seconds remaining.

Rio Grande grabbed a 2-0 first-half lead with a pair of goals in a span of just 16 seconds.

Senior Patricio Arce headed in a crossing pass from sophomore Eduardo Zurita at 19:04 before senior Lucas Talaviera-Befi scored at 19:20 on a ball played in by sophomore Harry Reilly.

Asbury cut the deficit in half with 7:54 left before the break when Ryan Metcalf banged in a short pass from Sam Henderson during a wild scramble in the box.

Rio Grande finished with a 27-9 edge in shots, including a 14-3 cushion in shots on frame.

The RedStorm also had 13 corner kick chances to the Eagles’ four opportunities.

Sophomore Ben Martinez had two saves in the win for Rio.

Patterson stopped eight shots for Asbury.

Saturday’s championship game was scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Evan E. Davis Field.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing