Top-ranked Rio claims KIAC tourney title


By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing



Rio Grande’s Joao Paulo Antonio tries to fend off WVU-Tech’s Drew Lytton for control of the ball during the first half of Saturday’s KIAC men’s soccer championship game at Evan E. Davis Field. The RedStorm topped the Golden Bears, 3-1.


RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Junior forward Willian Paulino scored a pair of second half goals to help the top-seeded University of Rio Grande pull away for a 3-1 win over No. 2 seed West Virginia University-Tech in the championship game of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament, Saturday night, at Evan E. Davis Field.

The RedStorm, who entered the game ranked No. 1 in the latest NAIA Top 25, improved to 18-1 with the victory, earning the KIAC’s automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament in the process.

WVU-Tech, ranked 25th nationally, slipped to 16-2 with the loss, Both setbacks came at the hands of Rio Grande.

Senior Luiz Filho (Sao Paulo, Brazil) gave Rio Grande a lead it would never relinquish just 11:03 into the match, taking a feed from junior Heitor de Melo (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and whistling a shot past Tech net-minder Hunter Moles for a 1-0 lead.

Paulino, the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year, scored an unassisted marker at the 63:39 mark and added an insurance marker thanks to a nifty assist from sophomore Spencer Reinford (McAlisterville, PA) with 8:51 remaining in the match.

WVU-Tech, which actually finished with a 15-14 edge in shots and a 4-3 advantage in shots on goal, avoided the shutout just over a minute-and-a-half later when Francisco Neto scored on a penalty kick.

Rio freshman goalkeeper Ben Martinez, the conference Defensive Player of the Year, finished with three saves in the victory.

Moles did not record a save for the Golden Bears.

Rio Grande will play its opening round game in the national tournament – against an opponent still to be announced – on Saturday, at noon, at Evan E. Davis Field.

WVU-Tech will find out if it receives a national tourney bid when the list of 32 participants is announced Monday.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.

Rio Grande’s Joao Paulo Antonio tries to fend off WVU-Tech’s Drew Lytton for control of the ball during the first half of Saturday’s KIAC men’s soccer championship game at Evan E. Davis Field. The RedStorm topped the Golden Bears, 3-1.
http://mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_11.17-URG-Antonio.jpgRio Grande’s Joao Paulo Antonio tries to fend off WVU-Tech’s Drew Lytton for control of the ball during the first half of Saturday’s KIAC men’s soccer championship game at Evan E. Davis Field. The RedStorm topped the Golden Bears, 3-1.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

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