MARSHALL, Mo. — Kainan Dos Santos scored one goal and assisted on another to lead fourth-ranked Missouri Valley College to a 2-1 win over the University of Rio Grande, Thursday afternoon, in the opening round of the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship’s Marshall Bracket at Volney C. Ashford Stadium.
The host Vikings, the top-seeded team in the four-team bracket, improved to 15-4-1 with the victory and earned a spot in Saturday’s bracket title game against Hastings (Neb.).
The Broncos advanced out of the other semifinal matchup after Spring Arbor (Mich.) was ousted from the tourney after two members of its traveling party tested positive for COVID-19.
Rio Grande, the No. 4 seed in the bracket, finished its season at 14-5.
The match was a scoreless draw until Dos Santos hit Miroslav Markovic on a breakaway opportunity and Markovic fired a shot from the top of the 18-yard box up and over Rio freshman goal keeper Daniel Merino Correa (Madrid, Spain) with 39:32 left to play.
Dos Santos pushed the MVC lead to 2-0 just over 21 minutes later when he gathered in the rebound of a saved shot by his teammate, Mike Moser, and scored from 12 yards out.
The RedStorm sliced the deficit in half — and made things much more interesting — with 7:07 remaining when sophomore Rodrigo Basso (Santiago, Chile) headed in a free kick by junior Charlie Chechlacz (Liecestershire, England) from two yards out, which was first touched by senior Silas Machado (Sao Paulo, Brazil).
Rio had one last scoring opportunity with 41 seconds left to play, but sophomore Osvaldo Pereira’s (Campo Grande, Brazil) bid to find the upper left corner of the net missed just wide to the left.
Missouri Valley finished with a 12-9 advantage in shots overall and a 6-5 edge in shots on frame.
Vikings’ net-minder Susan Milosevic recorded four saves in the win.
Merino Correa also stopped four shots in the loss for Rio Grande, which suffered an opening round loss for the second time in four seasons.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.