RIO GRANDE, Ohio — With a three-game winning streak in hand and the excitement of Senior Day ceremonies in the air, a forecast for success seemed to be an easy call for the University of Rio Grande women’s soccer team.
Visiting Point Park University apparently thought otherwise.
The Pioneers grabbed momentum with an early goal, built confidence with two more first half markers and went on to post a 3-1 win over the RedStorm, Monday afternoon, in River States Conference play at Evan E. Davis Field.
Point Park upped its record to 5-10-1 overall and 3-4-1 in the RSC with the road victory.
Rio Grande cost itself an opportunity to move within one point of West Virginia University-Tech for fourth place in the league standings, falling to 4-12 overall and 4-4 against conference foes.
The RedStorm finished with a 22-21 edge in overall shots and a 3-1 advantage in corner kick opportunities, but it was the Pioneers who dictated the pace of the contest – particularly in the first half when Rio’s play appeared less than enthusiastic.
Tia Horew gave PPU the early edge, scoring just 9:18 into the contest when she picked off a loose ball in front of the goal and fired into an empty net.
But it was the Pioneers’ final two markers – scored less than two minutes apart later in the period – which essentially buried the RedStorm.
Nola McGuire navigated her way past a pair of Rio defenders along the endline, dribbled into the box and eventually poked a shot by Rio freshman keeper Jayla Brown (Chillicothe, OH) for a 2-0 lead with 16:03 left before the intermission.
Taylor Goldstrohm made it 3-0 just 1:48 later, playing a ricochet of a save by Brown into the net.
Rio Grande avoided a shutout when senior Ambar Torres (Guyaquil, Ecuador) scored on a penalty kick with 1:52 remaining in the contest.
Brown recorded nine saves in a losing cause for the RedStorm.
Ashtyn Webb stopped seven shots in goal for Point Park, which defeated Rio for the sixth straight time after dropping the first three meetings in the all-time series.
Rio Grande returns to action on Thursday night when it travels to Indiana University East for a 5 p.m. kickoff at Centerville High School.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.