OWENSBORO, Ky. — The University of Rio Grande men’s soccer team wrapped up the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season championship, surviving a long ride and less than stellar playing conditions to post an 8-0 win over Brescia University, Saturday night, at Kaumpf Park.
The RedStorm, who continue to be the nation’s top-ranked NAIA team, wrapped up regular season play with a 16-1 record overall and a 6-0 mark in league play.
Brescia dropped to 1-11 overall and 1-5 in the KIAC.
Senior Kimathi Kaumbutho (Nairobi, Kenya) scored a pair of goals and junior Jeremy de Hoog (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) assisted on two others for Rio, while junior Pau Delgado-Rodriguez (Barcelona, Spain) and sophomore Jorge Guinovart (Barcelona, Spain) each had a goal and an assist in the winning effort.
The RedStorm, who divided their roster into two groups – one for each half – grabbed a 4-0 lead at the intermission despite a steady rain which left the pitch a quagmire.
Delgado-Rodriguez got the scoring underway thanks to an assist by freshman Ben Mendoza (Chichester, England), before freshman Charlie Horwood (Fleet, England) scored off of a corner kick by de Hoog to make it 2-0.
Kaumbutho had each of the next two scores – one off a crossing pass by de Hoog and the other off a give-and-go which involved both Delgado-Rodriguez and senior Luiz Filho (Sao Paulo, Brazil) – to give Rio its four-goal edge at the break.
Junior Willian Paulino (Sao Paulo, Brazil) made it 5-0 by cashing in on a penalty kick opportunity early in the second half, setting the stage for Guinovart’s assist – on a goal by freshman George Redwin (Canvey Island, England) – and his nifty breakaway marker which pushed the lead to 7-0.
Freshman Eduardo Zurita (Barcelona, Spain) closed out the scoring with a goal off of a corner kick by sophomore Joao Paulo Antonio (Sao Paulo, Brazil).
Rio Grande outshot the Bearcats, 31-1, overall and, 23-1, on goal.
Freshman keeper Ben Martinez (Montpellier, France) authored his 10th clean sheet of the season in the winning effort for Rio.
Jacob Stanley stopped 15 shots in a losing cause for Brescia.
Rio Grande now begins a nearly three-week layoff before playing an opponent still to be determined in the semifinal round of the KIAC Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 12, at Evan E. Davis Field.
The RedStorm were originally slated to close out their regular season on Oct. 31 at Reinhardt (Ga.) University, but the game was cancelled when Reinhardt was forced to reschedule a conference match which was postponed by Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 3.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.