RedStorm tie Bryan in regular season finale
by Randy Payton
Special to OVP
DAYTON, Tenn. — Jorge Gonzalez Giron scored a controversial game-tying goal with one minute remaining in regulation, setting the stage for a pair of scoreless overtime sessions and 2-2 tie between host Bryan College and the top-ranked University of Rio Grande, Saturday night, in men’s soccer action at Lions Field.
The RedStorm (13-1-1), who were playing their regular season finale, saw a 13-game winning streak snapped. It was Rio’s first tie since a 0-0 deadlock with The Master’s College on December 4, 2009 in the semifinal round of the NAIA national tournament.
Bryan, which was among the schools receiving votes in the latest NAIA coaches poll, moved to 11-3-2 overall.
Giron’s goal came after a wild exchange inside the box between both teams.
The RedStorm blocked at least three point-blank shots on goal by the Lions before Giron hit a ball toward the corner of the goal which appeared to be cleared out by Rio junior defender Craig Davies.
However, the linesman signaled that the ball had crossed the line first, giving the Lions their second marker of the night and sending the game into overtime.
Rio Grande had taken a 2-1 lead just under nine minutes earlier when sophomore midfielder Caio Cruz scored off an assist from senior forward Rafael Maccauro.
Maccauro also assisted on the first goal of the night, feeding junior midfielder Maxi Viera for a score at the 23:00 mark of the opening half.
The Lions tied the game at the 34:21 mark when Rasheed Malcom scored on a header off of a crossing pass by Johannes Muller.
Rio Grande failed to get off a shot in the first overtime period before outshooting their hosts 4-1 in the second extra session. Neither team, though, could push across the game-winner.
The RedStorm outshot Bryan, 19-16, for the game, but the Lions had a 12-9 edge in shots on goal.
Senior goal keeper Jack Marchant recorded five saves in a route-going performance, including a dazzling stop in the first overtime which prevented a loss.
Josh Oldroyd went the entire way in net for the Lions and was credited with six saves.
The physical marathon saw the two squads whistled for 55 combined fouls—29 on Bryan and 26 against the RedStorm—and six yellow cards were issued.
Rio Grande returns to action on Saturday night, hosting rival Shawnee State in the opening round of the Mid-South Conference Tournament at Evan E. Davis Field. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The top-seeded RedStorm outlasted the No. 8 seed Bears, 1-0 in two overtimes, during the regular season meeting between the two squads on October 9 in Portsmouth.
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