Orange Beach, Ala. --- The University of Rio Grande RedStorm men's soccer team's quest for a national championship came to a shocking end on Monday afternoon in the second round of the 2010 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championships. Rio, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, lost to Bethel (TN) College, 2-1 in a match played at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.
Rio Grande (22-1) suffered its first loss since the Mid-South Conference semifinals last year (November 12, 2009), when it dropped a 3-1 decision to Cumberlands (KY). Rio was 25-0-1 over its last 26 games, leading up to Monday's match-up.
The two teams played to a scoreless first half. The 0-0 score remained until the 64th minute when Bethel (14-5-1) broke through to take a 1-0 lead. Dawayne Smith received a feed from Erick Rosas and he was able to beat Rio junior goalkeeper Jack Marchant (Leeds, England) for the score.
The Wildcats pushed the lead to 2-0 in scoring the all-important insurance goal in the 67th minute on an unassisted tally from Mario Vila Boa. Vila Boa's goal, which came off a deflection from a Rio defender, proved to be fatal for the RedStorm.
Rio cut the deficit in half and avoided getting shut out when sophomore forward Richard Isberner (Sao Paulo, Brazil) scored on a penalty kick in the 75th minute to make the score 2-1.
Marchant recorded six saves in the loss for Rio Grande while Bethel goalkeeper Chaz Dachenhaus stopped seven Rio Grande attempts.
Bethel out-shot Rio Grande, 20-18 and both sides recorded eight shots on goal.
This is the second time in three years that Bethel has ended Rio's season. The Wildcats beat Rio, 2-1 in overtime to claim the 2008 NAIA National Championship.
Rio Grande now has a 17-7-2 record all-time in NAIA Tournament play. Bethel is now 8-1-1 in national tournament competition.
Bethel advances to the quarterfinal round on Wednesday night versus the winner of No.9 seed Mobile and Belhaven.