RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The sport of soccer is commonly referred to as “the beautiful game”.
But make no mistake about it, there was nothing beautiful about Saturday night’s men’s non-conference match between the University of Rio Grande and the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
A combined forty-two common fouls, 11 yellow card cautions and two red card disqualifications extinguished the flow of play and provided the backdrop to the Bengals’ 2-1 double-overtime upset of the RedStorm at Evan E. Davis Field.
Maine Fort Kent, a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, improved to 8-1-2 with the victory, which capped off a five-game road swing against NAIA opponents that also included an overtime win at Lindsey Wilson College.
Rio Grande, ranked No. 6 in NAIA, slipped to 10-2 with the loss.
The RedStorm were whistled for 20 fouls, seven of the cautions and both red cards, playing the final 44:36 of the contest at a two-man disadvantage after freshman Sebastian Borquez (Santiago, Chile) and sophomore Cristobal Encina (Santiago, Chile) were banished after both received multiple yellow cards.
Rio Grande hung tough despite being short-handed and appeared headed toward a tie, but UMFK’s Nickalous Gayle headed in a pass to the 18-yard box by Alexi Sarmis for the game-winner with 2:02 left in the second extra session.
Rio grabbed a 1-0 lead just 6:44 into the contest when sophomore Nicolas Cam Orellana (Santiago, Chile) tapped in the rebound of his own missed shot – an attempt which bounced off the hands of UMFK keeper Glenroy Osbourne – but the Bengals tied the game with 15:17 left before halftime on a penalty kick by Travar McCollah.
Maine-Fort Kent finished with a 19-13 advantage in shots, including a 7-6 edge in shots on goal.
Osbourne had four saves in the Bengals’ winning effort.
Senior Richard Dearle (Castle Donington, England) had five saves in the loss for the RedStorm.
Rio Grande returns to action on Thursday night when it faces Cincinnati Christian University at Northern Kentucky University.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.