BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Senior forward Richard Isberner equaled a career-high with five goals and the University of Rio Grande men’s soccer team wrapped up the Mid-South Conference regular season championship outright with a 6-1 win over Bluefield (Va.) College, Wednesday night, at the East River Soccer Complex.
The RedStorm, ranked No.1 in the latest NAIA coaches poll, improved to 13-1 overall and 9-0 in the MSC with their 13th straight win..
The victory also gave Rio its second MSC championship since joining the league four seasons ago.
Isberner, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, tied his single-game career high of five goals, which he previously set in a 14-0 win over St. Catharine College on November 5, 2011, in the opening round of the MSC Tournament.
Senior forward Rafael Maccauro added a goal and an assist in the win for head coach Scott Morrissey’s squad.
Rio Grande peppered Bluefield goal keeper Jefferson Watson for 30 shots, including 14 on goal.
The Rams (8-9, 4-5) had just four shots in the contest - all on goal.
Isberner sandwiched a pair of goals on penalty kicks around a score off a direct kick by Maccauro to give Rio Grande a 3-0 lead at the intermission.
Isberner found the net again just over four minutes into the second stanza, with a dual assist credited to senior midfielder Oliver Hewitt-Fisher and sophomore midfielder Caio Cruz to make it 4-0.
The lead grew to 5-0 just 51 seconds later when Isberner scored off an assist by Maccauro and the final goal of the night came at 24:48 when Isberner headed a corner kick by junior forward Orlando Zapata into the net.
Bluefield avoided a shutout with just three seconds remaining on Anthony Hunt’s first goal of the year. Mouhamed Dieye was credited with an assist on the play.
Senior goal keeper Jack Marchant had two saves in 74:59 of scoreless play, while sophomore Jon Dodson went the final 15:01 in goal and recorded one save.
The goal scored by the Rams in the closing minute was the first allowed by Dodson this season.
Rio Grande returns to action Saturday night, closing out its regular season schedule with a visit to Bryan (Tenn.) College. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.