LEBANON, Tenn. – As uplifting as last Wednesday’s record-setting win at Kentucky Christian was to the University of Rio Grande women’s soccer team, Sunday afternoon’s follow-up performance in their Mid-South Conference opener at Cumberland University was just as demoralizing.
The Bulldogs dominated the RedStorm from the outset, exploding for seven first half goals and cruising to a 9-0 win at Lindsey Donnell Stadium-Kirk Field.
Cumberland (5-1 overall, 1-0 MSC) outshot Rio, 38-0, and was the beneficiary of a third hat trick on the young season from Kelsey Langille.
“We just didn’t show up. It’s the worst game I’ve seen a Rio girls’ team play in the four years I’ve been here,” said Rio Grande head coach Callum Morris. “For the first 45 minutes we were awful. I don’t know that any of our players got off the bus. We turned it up a little bit in the second half, but nowhere near the level we can play at. We certainly came down to earth with a massive bang.”
The nine goals allowed were the most by a RedStorm team since an 8-0 loss at Lindsey Wilson on October 23, 2010. It also marked the third-highest total ever allowed by a Rio team, surpassed only by the 13 goals scored by Tiffin University in a 2006 loss and the 11 goals twice scored by Lindsey Wilson – once in the regular season and again in the MSC Tournament – during the 2009 campaign.
Rhianne Parsons added a pair of goals in the winning effort for Cumberland, while Simone Quinn had three assists and Kaitlin Phillips finished with two assists of her own.
The Bulldogs built a comfortable 4-0 lead inside the game’s first 25 minutes and then tacked on a trio of scores in a span of 1:37 just before the intermission to blow things wide open. Langille, who also had an assist, and Parsons did all of their offensive damage in the first half.
“Cumberland stuck to its gameplan. They have some good players and a nice team, but they’re actually pretty simple to defend – we just didn’t do it. That explains it,” said Morris. “It was like nobody paid any attention to what we told them in training over the past few days. There’s not much more you can say about it.”
Renee LaRose, Meaghan Lyons, Brenna Evilcizer and Shauna Gilpin also scored goals for CU, while Gilpin, Evilcizer and Taylor Nay had one assist each in the victory.
Sophomore goal keeper Allison Keeney recorded 11 saves in a losing cause for the RedStorm (3-4, 0-1). Lindsay Kiton pitched the shutout in net for Cumberland.
Rio Grande returns to action on Wednesday, hosting the University of the Cumberlands in a 5 p.m. start at Evan E. Davis Field. The men’s teams from the two schools will play afterwards at 7 p.m.