Isberner fuels URG soccer past Patriots
by Randy Payton
Special to OVP
RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Richard Isberner had two goals and one assist, while Oliver Hewitt-Fisher and Caio Cruz added one goal and one assist each to lead the University of Rio Grande in a 5-0 triumph over the University of the Cumberlands, Wednesday night, in Mid-South Conference men’s soccer action at Evan E. Davis Field.
The win was the sixth consecutive victory for the RedStorm (6-1 overall, 2-0 MSC), who remain ranked No. 2 in the latest NAIA coaches poll.
Junior defender Craig Davies was responsible for the other Rio goal, while senior keeper Jack Marchant recorded his second straight shutout in goal.
Cumberlands, which received votes in this week’s coaches poll, slipped to 2-1-1 overall and 1-1 in league play with the loss.
Hewitt-Fisher, a senior midfielder from Swansea, Wales, who was playing in just his second match of the season after being sidelined earlier by a knee injury, got the scoring underway at the 12:09 mark.
Cruz beat Cumberlands goal keeper Paulo Machado to a loose ball just to the left of the goal and fed the ball back to Hewitt-Fisher, who had a wide open look at the net from about eight yards out.
Rio maintained the narrow lead until Cruz, a sophomore midfielder from Brazil, scored off of a feed from Isberner with just 3:22 left before intermission.
Davies made it 3-0 just 1:56 into the second stanza, when Machado failed to corral his twisting corner kick from the left side of the goal.
The play was originally scored as an “own goal” against Machado, but was later changed to a goal credited to Davies when video showed the ball would’ve made it into the net had Machado not touched the ball.
Isberner, a senior forward from Sao Paulo, Brazil, continued his torrid scoring pace since returning to the lineup after missing two games with leg and hip injuries.
The first team All-American and reigning MSC Player of the Year scored twice in a span of 34 seconds - at 64:27 and 65:01 - to round out the scoring. Hewitt-Fisher assited on the second goal.
In his three games back on the pitch, Isberner has now scored four goals.
Marchant had one save in the win, while Machado and Alex Swoboda had two saves each in the loss for the Patriots. Swoboda took over in goal for UC following Davies’ score.
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