Fri, Oct. 26, 2012 - [Men's Soccer]
Rio Grande Sports Information
DAYTON, Tenn. - After stumbling out of the gate in its 2012 season opener, the University of Rio Grande men's soccer team will attempt to close its regular season slate with a bang.
The top-ranked RedStorm, winners of 13 straight games since a 1-0 loss at St. Xavier (Ill.), make a long bus ride south to take on Bryan College in their regular season finale, Saturday, at 7 p.m. Head coach Scott Morrissey's squad (13-1, 9-0 Mid-South Conference) wrapped up the outright MSC regular season championship with a 6-1 win at Bluefield College on Wednesday night.
Senior forward Richard Isberner (Sao Paulo, Brazil) equaled a career-high with five goals in the win, while fellow senior forward Rafael Maccauro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) added a goal and an assist in the victory.
The RedStorm will be the No. 1 seed in the MSC Tournament and will host either Shawnee State University or St. Catharine College in the tourney's opening round next weekend at Evan E. Davis Field.
Shawnee State plays at Cumberland (Tenn.) on Saturday afternoon and can avoid a first round tournament matchup with rival Rio by defeating the Bulldogs. A loss to Cu would mean the Bears will visit the RedStorm next Saturday.
Isberner leads Rio in scoring with 44 points, thanks to eight assists and a team-best 18 goals. He ranks ninth in the country in goals and fifth in points.
Senior midfielder Oliver Hewitt-Fisher (Swansea, Wales) has a club-best 10 assists and is second on the team with 10 goals for 30 points.
Three others find themselves with double-digit point totals heading into the regular season finale.
Junior midfielder Maxi Viera (Montevideo, Uruguay) has nine goals and four assists for 22 points, sophomore midfielder Caio Cruz (Sao Paulo, Brazil) has seven goals and six assists for 20 points and Maccauro has four goals and three assists for 11 points.
Senior goal keeper Jack Marchant (Leeds, England) continues his strong play in net. He's allowed just seven goals in nearly 1,100 minutes of playing time, while recording 26 saves and a save percentage of .788.
Extending the win streak on Saturday will require the RedStorm doing more than just showing up.
Bryan brings an overall record of 11-3-1 into the contest, including a 2-1 double overtime win at home over Carson-Newman on Wednesday night which snapped a two-game losing streak.
The Lions were among the teams receiving votes in this week's NAIA coaches Top 25 poll.
Prior to the two-game slide, which was comprised of a 1-0 loss at No.2 Lindsey Wilson and a 3-1 setback at home to Appalachian Athletic Conference rival Milligan, first-year head coach Joey Johnson's squad had enjoyed a 10-game unbeaten streak and a five-game winning streak.
A defensive-minded team, Bryan has allowed just 12 goals all season. In turn, the Lions have scored just 33 times themselves.
Senior midfielder Johannes Muller leads the team in scoring with 14 points (4 goals and a team-high six assists), while junior midfielder Nathan Adams has a team-best five goals and three assists for 13 points.
Sophomore forward Daniel Branley (4 goals, 2 assists) and senior forward Andrew Knighten (5 goals) both have 10 points each.
Sophomore goal keeper Josh Oldroyd has started all but one of the Lions' 14 outings in net and has recorded 37 saves and a .787 save percentage. He's allowed 10 of the opposition's 12 goals.