HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — It wasn’t pretty but, given their personnel limitations, the University of Rio Grande men’s soccer team was willing to take a win in whatever fashion they could get it.
Nicolas Cam Orellana scored on a header with 16:46 left to play, giving the RedStorm a 1-0 win over Cincinnati Christian University, Thursday night, in River States Conference action at Northern Kentucky University.
The RedStorm, ranked 10th in the latest NAIA coaches poll, improved to 11-2 overall and 5-0 in the RSC with the victory.
The Eagles evened their overall record at 6-6 and slipped to 1-2 in conference play with the loss.
Rio Grande played without the services of three regulars – freshmen Sebastian Borquez (Santiago, Chile) and Diego Montenegro (Santiago, Chile), as well as sophomore Cristobal Encina (Santiago, Chile). Borquez and Encina were serving suspensions for red card disqualifications in last Saturday’s double-overtime loss to Maine Fort Kent, while Montenegro suffered a shoulder injury in the same game.
The RedStorm doubled up CCU in overall shots, 13-6, but scoring opportunities were few and far between.
Rio had just four shots on goal compared to three for the Eagles.
The game’s lone marker came with just under 17 minutes remaining when Cam Orellana – a sophomore from Santiago, Chile – headed in a crossing pass from the left wing by junior Samuel Pedersen (Aldershot, England).
Senior net-minder Richard Dearle (Castle Donington, England) stopped three shots in a shutout effort for the RedStorm.
Keanan Ainge recorded a pair of saves in a losing cause for Cincinnati Christian.
Rio Grande returns to action next Thursday when it travels to No. 21 West Virginia University-Tech for a battle of RSC unbeatens.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the YMCA/Paul Cline Soccer Complex in Beckley, W.Va.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.