IRVINE, Calif. — Corner kick opportunities had been good to the University of Rio Grande all season long.
But in the biggest match of the season to date, it was an opponent’s corner kick chance that ended the RedStorm’s quest for a national championship.
Missouri Valley College’s Noah Dalle scored on the rebound off a corner kick by the Vikings with 2:48 remaining in the second overtime period for a 2-1 win over the RedStorm, Wednesday afternoon, in the quarterfinal round of the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship at Orange County Great Park Soccer Stadium.
Missouri Valley, which was ranked eighth in the final regular season coaches’ poll and seeded fifth in the tourney, improved to 18-4-1 with the win and advances to Friday’s semifinal round to face William Carey (Miss.).
Rio Grande, the top-ranked team in the final regular season poll and the No. 4 seed in the tournament, finished at 20-1 with the loss.
Dalle’s goal – his first of the season – capped off a scramble in front of the net in which the ball touched three different players.
Dalle played a ricochet off his teammate, Ruben Jiminez, and managed to tap the ball past Rio junior goal keeper Richard Dearle (Castle Donington, England) for the game-winner.
The Vikings got the win despite being outshot, 13-8, including 6-5 in shots on goal. Four of MVC’s shots came in the overtime periods.
Missouri Valley grabbed a 1-0 lead just under 11 minutes into the contest and did so without taking a shot.
Rio Grande was whistled for a foul just outside of the 18-yard box resulting in a Missouri Valley free kick and Luka Gluscevic’s subsequent kick deflected off a RedStorm defender and into the goal for an own goal.
That’s how things stayed until senior Harry Reilly (Coventry, England) managed an unassisted marker with 9:39 left in regulation to knot the score and set up the dramatic overtime finish.
Dearle finished with four saves in a losing cause for the RedStorm.
Patrick Irankunda had five saves for the Vikings.
The loss marked the final game in a Rio uniform for Reilly, Ben Mendoza (Chichester, England), Mitchell Osmond (Sydney, Australia), Harry Robinson (London, England) and Eduardo Zurita (Sant Boi de Llobregat, Spain).
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.