EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The University of Rio Grande men’s soccer team made an early lead stand up and, in the process, unofficially nailed down the top seed in the upcoming River States Conference Tournament.
The RedStorm scored just over seven minutes into the match and went on to post a 3-0 win over Oakland City University, Thursday afternoon, at the Goebel Soccer Complex.
Rio Grande, which posted a 10th straight victory while also running its unbeaten streak to 11 consecutive outings, improved to 13-2-1 overall and 8-0 in conference play.
The 14th-ranked RedStorm, who have allowed just one goal over the course of their winning streak, have a 1-1/2 game lead over Brescia University with one game left to play. That matchup actually comes against the Bearcats on Saturday.
Head coach Scott Morrissey’s club will have a first-round bye in the upcoming RSC Tournament and will host a semifinal round contest on Wednesday, Nov. 10.
Oakland City, which saw its hopes on earning a first-round bye in the tourney dashed with the loss, slipped to 9-5-1 overall and 5-3 in the RSC.
Rio Grande got what proved to be the only goal it would need with 37:40 left in the opening stanza when senior Caio Mazzo Nogueira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) scored off a touch from sophomore Benjamin Cam Orellana (Santiago, Chile).
That’s how things stayed until freshman Diego Martinez (Santiago, Chile) scored off a feed from junior Charlie Chechlacz (Liecestershire, England) just under 17 minutes into the second half to make it 2-0.
Junior Nicolas Cam Orellana (Santiago, Chile) set the final score by intercepting an errant pass and lofting a shot over OCU net-minder Arthur Hill and into the back of the net with 2:03 remaining in the match.
Rio Grande had a 14-10 edge in overall shots and a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal. Both teams enjoyed multiple corner kick chances, with the RedStorm holding an 8-5 cushion in the category.
A total of 31 fouls were whistled — 21 on the host team — and four yellow card cautions were issued — two against each team — during the contest.
Freshman keeper Daniel Merino Correa (Madrid, Spain) had four saves in the victory for Rio.
Hill had two saves in the loss for the Mighty Oaks.
Rio’s regular season finale at Brescia University on Saturday has a 1 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.