RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Maxi Viera had a pair of first half goals, while Luiz Filho scored twice in the second half to lead the University of Rio Grande to a season-opening 7-1 win over St. Xavier (Ill.) University, Saturday night, in non-conference men’s soccer action at Evan E. Davis Field.
The RedStorm, ranked ninth in the NAIA preseason coaches poll, earned its first win in three all-time meetings with Cougars.
“It was a real good start for us,” said Rio Grande head coach Scott Morrissey. “Especially given that we’d never beaten them before.”
Viera, a senior midfielder from Montevideo, Uruguay, found the net just over two minutes apart at the 15:13 and 17:49 marks to give Rio a 2-0 lead at the intermission.
The RedStorm enjoyed a 12-0 edge in shots at the break.
St. Xavier made things interesting just under four and a half minutes into the second stanza, though, when Brandon Simoes scored off of a feed from Kamil Szczesniak to make it 2-1.
“We got a little lackadaisical over the last part of the first half and then we made a couple of mistakes that gave away a goal and all of a sudden it’s 2-1. Anything can happen at that point,” Morrissey said. “I was a little disappointed at that point, but then we seemed to bounce back after that.”
Rio blew the game open with three goals in a span of less than four minutes.
Freshman Heitor de Melo (Sao Paulo, Brazil) scored at 58:21, senior Orlando Zapata (Medellin, Columbia) found the net with they aid of a pass from freshman Pau Delgado Rodriguez (Barcelona, Spain) at 59:17 and Rodriguez scored with an assist from Viera at 62:14 to make it 5-1.
Filho, a sophomore from Montego Bay, Jamaica, set the final score with his two markers in the final 16 minutes of the match.
Rio Grande finished the match with a 25-2 edge in shots.
Junior goal keeper Jon Dodson (Tiffin, OH) recorded one save for the RedStorm, before giving way to sophomore Ludovic Delapeyre (Bossy Saint Legre, France) for the final 16:37 of the contest.
A.J. Pfatschbacher went the distance in net for the Cougars and finished with six saves.
Rio Grande returns to action next Friday when it hosts Indiana Wesleyan for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
“We’ll certainly learn from tonight,” said Morrissey. “There were a lot of good things, but there’s also plenty we can correct. Being 1-0 is a lot better than being 0-1.”