RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Luiz Filho recorded his sixth hat trick of the season and Patricio Arce added two goals of his own to lead the University of Rio Grande in a 6-0 win over Bluefield College, Thursday night, in the quarterfinal round of the Mid-South Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament.
The second-seeded RedStorm, who are ranked No. 6 in the latest NAIA coaches poll, improved to 13-2-2 overall with the victory and advanced to next Thursday’s semifinal round at Lindsey Wilson College.
Bluefield, the tourney’s No. 7 seed, finished 8-10-1 with the loss. Both of the Rams’ meetings with Rio this season ended in identical 6-0 setbacks.
Filho, who had one of five previous hat tricks in the RedStorm’s earlier win over BC, recorded his three scores on Thursday night inside the first 21 minutes of the match.
A sophomore forward from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Filho found the back of the net just 4:10 into the contest thanks to an assist from sophomore midfielder Ryota Tonegawa (Kawaguchi, Saitawa, Japan) to make it 1-0.
After an unassisted marker by freshman forward William Paulino (Sao Paulo, Brazil) stretched the lead to 2-0 at the 12:34 mark, Filho scored twice more - once at 13:46 off an assist by freshman forward Pau Rodriguez (Barcelona, Spain) and again without an assist at 20:51 - to give the RedStorm a 4-0 advantage.
Filho’s three goals give him 26 on the season, pushing him past Tyler Gahara of Fisher (Mass.) for the national lead. Gahara has 25 goals.
Arce, a freshman defender from Santiago, Chile, made it a 5-0 Rio lead at the intermission, scoring an unassisted goal with just 16 seconds left before the break, and adding his final score off an assist from senior defender Craig Davies (Wolverhampton, England) at the 69:50 mark.
Rio Grande enjoyed a whopping 36-2 edge in total shots and 20-2 advantage in shots on goal.
Junior goal keeper Jon Dodson (Tiffin, OH) started and got the win for the RedStorm, teaming with sophomore reserve Ludovic Delapeyre (Boissy Saint Legre, France) for Rio’s ninth shutout of the year. It was the fifth combined clean sheet for the duo this season.
Jefferson Watson played the first 60:43 in goal for Bluefield, allowing five goals and recording seven saves. Justin Cook finished up in net for the Rams, allowing the final Rio goal and also recording seven saves.
Rio Grande will face the winner of Saturday’s quarterfinal between third-seeded Campbellsville and No. 6 seed Georgetown in next Thursday’s semifinal round. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. at Walter S. Reuling Stadium in Columbia, Ky.