RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Affixed between a pre-game ceremony honoring the 2003 national championship team and spectacular post-game fireworks display, Rio Grande sophomore forward Luiz Filho put on a show of his own.
The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil scored a career-high four goals - all in the first half - to lead the No. 3-ranked RedStorm in a 6-0 rout of rival Shawnee State University, Saturday night, before a season-best crowd of 1,332 fans at Evan E. Davis Field.
Senior midfielder Maxi Viera (Montevideo, Uruguay) added one goal and an assist, while senior forward Orlando Zapata (Medellin, Colombia) contributed three assists in the win for Rio Grande, which upped its record to 9-1-2 overall and 4-0-2 in the Mid-South Conference with the victory.
Shawnee State slipped to 4-8 overall and 1-5 in league play with the loss.
Filho’s offensive explosion marked the fourth time in the team’s last five outings that he’s scored at least three goals in a contest.
His first score came just 3:52 into the contest off of a corner kick by Viera and an assist by Zapata.
Zapata also assisted on goals by Filho at the 8:20 and 23:00 marks, sandwiched around a goal by Viera, to push the lead to 4-0.
Filho made it 5-0 with just under 10 minutes left before the intermission, scoring off an assist by freshman Pau Rodriguez (Barcelona, Spain).
Sophomore midfielder Ryota Tonegawa (Kawaguchi, Saitawa, Japan) set the final score by finding the back of the net just 4:26 into the second half off an assist from senior defender Craig Davies (Wolverhampton, England). It was the first goal of Tonegawa’s collegiate career.
Freshman forward William Paulino (Sao Paulo, Brazil) also had an assist for Rio Grande, which finished with a whopping 22-2 edge in shots - including an 11-2 advantage in shots on goal.
Junior goal keeper Jon Dodson (Tiffin, OH) finished with two saves in the shutout effort for the RedStorm.
Thomas Carbonari had six saves in a losing cause for the Bears.
Prior to game, Rio Grande’s 2003 national championship team was inducted into the school’s newly-formed “Athletic Wall of Honor and the five seniors on the 2013 squad - Viera, Zapata, Davies, Nikoy Wallace (Montego Bay, Jamaica) and Jordan Jenkins (Chillicothe, OH) - were recognized.
At halftime, Steven Kehoe - a member of the 2003 team and the MVP of national tournament - was inducted into the Rio Grande Athletic Hall of Fame because he will be unable to attend the formal induction ceremony scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16.
Following the game, the overflow crowd was treated to the annual “Rockets Over Rio” celebration in conjunction with the 43rd Annual Bob Evans Farm Festival.
Rio Grande returns to action on Wednesday night when St. Catharine College visits for a 7 p.m. kickoff.