RIO GRANDE, Ohio — There were plenty of fireworks at Evan E. Davis Field on Saturday night - and that was long before the “Rockets Over Rio” celebration ever began to illuminate the sky overhead.
Senior midfielder Oliver Hewitt-Fisher scored a career-high four goals and handed out two assists, while junior midfielder Maxi Viera added three goals and an assist of his own to lead the top-ranked University of Rio Grande men’s soccer team in a 13-0 thrashing of the University of Pikeville.
A season-high crowd of 987 fans watched the RedStorm roll to their 11th consecutive victory, improving to 11-1 overall and 7-0 inside the Mid-South Conference.
The 13 goals also represented a season-high for head coach Scott Morrissey’s team. It was also the highest single-game total for Rio since a 14-0 rout of St. Catharine College in the opening round of the 2011 MSC Tournament.
Sophomore midfielder Caio Cruz tacked on two goals and an assist to the winning effort, while senior forward Richard Isberner had one goal and four assists and sophomore midfielder Patricio Guerrafinished with one goal and three assists for the RedStorm.
Rio Grande outshot the Bears, 37-4, and led 7-0 at the intermission.
Viera, Hewitt-Fisher and senior defender Mike Burney all scored in the game’s first 11:19 off of assists by Guerra to give Rio a quick 3-0 lead.
Viera scored his second goal at 23:28 thanks to an assist by Isberner and, 8-1/2 minutes later, Isberner scored off a pass from sophomore midfielder Cesar Lopez to up the advantage to 5-0.
Hewitt-Fisher had the final two goals of the half — within 29 seconds of each other — with freshman midfielder Ryota Tonegawa and Viera recording the assists.
The RedStorm pushed the lead to 10-0 inside the first 12 minutes of the second stanza on goals by junior defender Nikoy Wallace, Viera and Guerra. Isberner assisted on all three scores.
Cruz scored his goals – both of which were assisted by Hewitt-Fisher – at 69:13 and 83:08 to make it 12-0, before Hewitt-Fisher scored via a Cruz assist with 1:35 remaining in the match to set the final score.
Sophomore goal keeper Jon Dodson, who got the start in goal as a result of regular net-minder Jack Marchant’s one-game suspension for receiving a red card in last Tuesday’s win at Shawnee State, recording the first win and shutout of his career.
Sheldon Thomas went the distance in goal for Pikeville (0-9, 0-7), recording 10 saves.
Rio Grande will return to action Saturday when it hosts Campbellsville University for Senior Night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The game will mark the final regular season appearance for Marchant, Burney, Brandon Tyler, Isberner, Hewitt-Fisher, Rafael Maccauro and Brodie Steigerwald.