Sullivan leads Rio women past Oaks

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — McKenna Sullivan scored a pair of second half goals to help the University of Rio Grande past Oakland City University, 4-1, Thursday afternoon, in River States Conference women’s soccer action at the Goebel Soccer Complex.

The RedStorm improved to 9-5-2 overall and 9-1 in the RSC with the victory, extending their win streak to five straight and their unbeaten streak to 10 consecutive outings.

Unofficially, head coach Tony Daniels’ squad also wrapped up a first-round bye in the upcoming RSC Tournament as a result of the win. Regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s regular season finale at Brescia University, Rio should be the No. 2 seed in the six-team tourney and would host a semifinal round matchup on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Oakland City slipped to 7-8-1 overall and 3-6-1 in league play with the loss.

The match remained a scoreless draw until Rio senior Chase Davis (Huntington, WV) found the back of the net on a breakaway with 2:49 left in the first half.

Sullivan, a sophomore from Canal Winchester, Ohio, scored the first of her two goals just 1:57 into the second half off a touch by senior Ashton Snider (Lancaster, OH), following a corner kick by sophomore Lorna Campos (Santiago, Chile).

Sullivan scored again with 30:54 left to play when her shot slipped through the hands of Oakland City keeper Annabelle Lansdale, who took over in net at halftime for starter Jillian Beem, and into the goal to make it 3-0.

The Mighty Oaks got on the scoreboard with 14:21 remaining when Kennedy Hospelhorn scored via a pass from Becca Rutherfield, but the RedStorm got the goal back just 21 seconds later when senior Lyndlee Willis (Wheelersburg, OH) picked off an errant OCU pass and fed the ball to freshman Isabel Ruff (Lancaster, OH) for the game’s final goal.

Rio Grande finished with a 13-7 advantage in shots overall and an 8-2 cushion in shots on frame.

Sophomore Morgen Nutter (Ashville, OH) recorded one save in goal for Rio Grande.

Beem and Lansdale had two saves each in a losing cause for Oakland City.

Rio’s regular season finale on Saturday at Brescia is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.