CORAOPOLIS, Pa. — If Saturday’s matchup against Carlow University proves to be the last game that University of Rio Grande men’s soccer team will play in the foreseeable future, Sebastian Borquez made it one to remember.
The sophomore forward from Santiago, Chile scored five goals and assisted on another as the RedStorm rolled to an 11-0 victory over the Celtics in River States Conference play at the Montour Junction Sports Complex.
Rio Grande, which was playing for the first time in two weeks after having consecutive games against Oakland City University and Point Park University postponed due to COVID-related issues, won for the eighth time in 10 outings overall and for the sixth time in seven league contests.
Carlow dropped to 0-7, both overall and in the RSC.
Borquez’s five goals tied the Rio single-game record set by Richard Isberner in a 14-0 win over St. Catherine College in the quarterfinal round of the Mid-South Conference Tournament on Nov. 5, 2011 and equaled by Isberner in a 6-1 triumph over Bluefield (Va.) College on Oct. 24, 2012.
Four of the goals by Borquez – the first four of the contest, in fact – came as the RedStorm opened up a 6-0 halftime lead.
Rio Grande had more first half goals and corner kick opportunities – six of each – than Carlow had shots in the contest.
Rio finished with a 37-5 advantage in shots overall and a 23-3 cushion in shots on frame.
The four first half goals by Borquez all came with a span of 15 minutes – the first following a Carlow turnover and the fourth on a rebound which bounced off a Celtic defender. Junior Charlie Chechlacz (Liecestershire, England) and freshman Diego Martinez (Santiago, Chile), respectively, recorded assists on the two goals in between.
Freshman Timothy Strickland (Woolwich, England) recorded the first goal of his collegiate career with 14:14 left before the intermission and Chechlacz went top shelf from just outside the 18-yard box less than a minute later to produce the 6-0 halftime lead.
Borquez earned his assist on what would be the first of two scores by sophomore Diego Montenegro (Santiago, Chile) just under four minutes into the second period, while sophomore Rodrigo Basso (Santiago, Chile) and Borquez scored unassisted goals with 33:32 and 25:59 left to play, respectively, to make it 9-0.
Senior Callum Malanaphy (Stourbridge, England) got in on the scoring, thanks to a touch from senior Quinnton Haislop (Jackson, OH), with 16:08 remaining and Montenegro notched his final marker – off the deflection of a Carlow defender – with 13:23 left to set the final score.
Junior Josh Wilson (Cairns, Australia) started in goal for Rio and was credited with the win before giving way in the second half to freshman Kieran Hodges (Hewish, England). Wilson recorded on save, while Hodges stopped a pair of shots.
Zach Straub went the distance in goal for Carlow and recorded 11 of the team’s 12 saves in a losing cause.
It remains unclear as to when Rio Grande will return to action.
No dates to makeup the postponements with Oakland City and Point Park have been announced.
And, the RSC Tournament was originally scheduled to get underway next weekend, but that likely won’t happen due to a number of games which still need to be played after earlier postponements due to COVID-19 issues.
The league has been rumored to be considering pushing the tournament back to April, while trying to makeup as many of the postponed games before the Thanksgiving holiday, but no official announcement has been made by the league office.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.