Rio Grande Sports Information
RIO GRANDE, Ohio - Jorge Guinovart scored on a header off a free kick from teammate Heitor de Melo to snap a 1-1 tie and send the top-seeded University of Rio Grande on to a 4-1 win over Baker (Kan.) University in the opening round of the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship, Saturday afternoon, at Evan E. Davis Field.
The RedStorm improved to 16-1-2 with the win and will move on to the second round of the tourney where they'll face Northwood (Fla.) on Monday, Dec. 1, at 4 p.m., at the Seacrest Soccer Complex in Delray Beach, Fla. Northwood earned a bye into the Round of 16 as the final site host.
Baker, which earned its spot in the tourney by capturing the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament title as the No. 6 seed, saw a three-game winning streak snapped and closed its season at 9-9-3.
Rio Grande got the win despite being without the services of two of its starters - junior forward Luiz Filho (Sao Paulo, Brazil), who was injured in the team's KIAC/GCAC tournament title win over Point Park University, and senior midfielder Cesar Lopez (san Salvador, El Salvador), who was sitting out a mandatory one-game suspension for receiving a red card in the same game.
Additionally, the RedStorm lost the services of senior goalkeeper Jon Dodson (Tiffin, OH) - the KIAC Defensive Player of the Year - early in the match after he collided with a pair of Baker players during a scramble in front of the Rio goal. Dodson had played every second in goal for the RedStorm this season prior to the injury.
Rio took a 1-0 lead on a goal by sophomore forward Willian Paulino (Sao Paulo, Brazil) just 5:32 into the contest, but the Wildcats took advantage of an errant pass by the RedStorm and tied the game when Blake Levine found the back of the net via an assist by Keaton Anchors with 16:01 remaining in the first half.
Guinovart, a freshman midfielder from Barcelona, Spain, broke the tie just over eight minutes later when headed a shot after a free kick from the left wing by de Melo (Sao Paulo, Brazil) past Baker goalkeeper Patrick Rydberg to give the RedStorm a lead they would never relinquish.
Rio Grande added unassisted goals from sophomore midfielder Callum Cobb (Aldershot, England) just 3:42 into the second half and from freshman forward Tyler Martin (Columbus, OH) with 4:40 left in the match to set the final score.
Junior goalkeeper Ludovic Delapeyre (Boissy Saint Leger, France) earned the win for Rio, stopping three shots in just over 78 minutes of playing time. Dodson had one save before leaving with his injury.
Rydberg stopped 12 shots in a losing cause for Baker.
Rio Grande outshot the Wildcats, 19-10, including 16-5 in shots on goal.