RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Konner Hoot’s goal with just over five minutes remaining in regulation lifted upstart Indiana University East to a 2-2 deadlock with the University of Rio Grande, Saturday night, in River States Conference men’s soccer action at Evan E. Davis Field.
The Red Wolves, who are fielding a team for the first time this season, moved to 5-5-2 overall and 0-2-1 in conference play with the tie.
Rio Grande, the No. 3-ranked team in the latest NAIA coaches’ poll, closed the night at 9-1-1 overall and 3-0-1 in the RSC.
The tie also snapped a 33-match win streak at home for the RedStorm which dated back to a 2-0 triumph over Mount Vernon Nazarene University on Sept. 13, 2014.
Hoot, who had entered the IUE lineup just 2-1/2 minutes earlier, gathered in a loose ball on the left wing, made a move to create a 1-on-1 situation with Rio freshman goalie Luis Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica) and then fired a shot which ricocheted off of Rodriguez and into the net for the game-tying marker with 5:10 left to play.
That’s how things stayed the rest of the way, despite the fact that Rio Grande managed two more shots in regulation and held a 4-0 advantage in the same department over the two 10-minute overtime sessions.
The RedStorm enjoyed a whopping 30-9 advantage in overall shots and an 11-6 cushion in corner kick chances, but had just an 8-6 edge in shots on goal.
Indiana East actually drew first blood just over five minutes into the contest when Rio senior defender Danny Carroll (Liverpool, England) collided with Rodriguez at the top of the 18 in his retreat toward the goal, causing both to fall to the ground and allowing Trevor Lenke a clear look at an unguarded net for a 1-0 lead.
The RedStorm tied the game a little more than 10 minutes later when junior Eduardo Zurita (Sant Boi de Llobregat, Spain) scored from the top of the 18-yard box courtesy of a pass from junior Spencer Reinford (McAlisterville, PA) and took a 2-1 advantage on an unassisted marker by sophomore Deri Corfe (Chester, England) – a shot from 15 yards out on the left wing – with 22:52 remaining in regulation.
Hoot’s late goal tied the game and set up the nail-biting finish to the physical match, which included 33 common fouls (18 against IUE and 15 on Rio), seven yellow card cautions and a red card ejection of Zurita with 20 seconds left in the first extra session.
Rodriguez had four saves for Rio Grande in a route-going performance.
IUE net-minder Aaron Gipson was credited with five of the Red Wolves’ six saves.
Rio Grande returns to action on Saturday night when West Virginia University-Tech visits for a rematch of last year’s RSC Tournament title game.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., with the “Rockets Over Rio” fireworks celebration to follow the game’s conclusion.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.