RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande men’s soccer team stormed to an early lead and survived the second portion of its “Saturday Night in September” gauntlet.
Luiz Filho scored a pair of goals, while Pau Rodriguez added one goal and a pair of assists to lead the fifth-ranked RedStorm past No. 2 ranked University of Northwestern Ohio, 4-2, at Rio’s auxiliary field.
The RedStorm, who will host three of the top nine teams in the NAIA preseason coaches’ Top 25 and another who received votes in the balloting on successive Saturdays this month, improved to 6-0 with the victory.
The Racers, last year’s national runner-up, slipped to 2-2 with the loss.
Filho, a senior from Sao Paulo, Brazil, gave Rio a lead it would never relinquish by hammering home a crossing pass from sophomore Joao Paul Antonio (Sao Paulo, Brazil) at the 16:45 mark of the opening half.
That’s how things stayed until junior Willian Paulino (Sao Paulo, Brazil) headed in a corner kick by Rodriguez – a junior from Barcelona, Spain – just over 11-1/2 minutes into the second stanza to make it 2-0.
Filho scored his second goal a little more than four minutes later, blistering a crossing pass from Rodriguez past UNOH keeper Liam Davies and upping the lead to 3-0 with 29:22 left to play.
Rodriguez scored the RedStorm’s final goal of the night with an unassisted marker at the 74:22 mark of the contest, while the Racers scored both of their goals inside the final 13 minutes to set the final score.
Sergio Royo scored on a penalty kick at 77:13 to get the visitors on the board, while Jorge Salcedo had the final marker of the match off an assist from Aleksandar Lackovic with 4:00 remaining.
Rio Grande finished with a 16-8 edge in shots, including an 8-3 advantage in shots on goal.
Freshman Ben Martinez (Montpellier, France) recorded one save in net for the RedStorm.
Davies was credited with four stops for the Racers.
Rio Grande returns to action on Wednesday night when it hosts Bryan (Tenn.) College for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.