May 20, 2024

Rio Grande ends UMFK’s season Lopes’ two goals bury Bengals

FRESNO, Calif. – Ederson Lopes scored two second-half goals while UMaine-Fort Kent was held to five shots as the Bengals fell to Rio Grande (Ohio) 4-0 in the quarterfinal round of the NAIA Men’s Soccer Championships Wednesday.

Coach Bill Ashby’s UMFK team finishes a successful season at 21-1-1 while 18-3-1 Rio Grande advances to the national semifinals.

The Red Storm bombarded the Bengals’ goal all game long, generating 28 shots, including 21 in the second half where they scored three goals in a 25-minute span.

Sam Fairhurst put Rio Grande on the board 5:33 into the match, knocking home a pass from Callum Morris.

Lopes’ goals came 2:38 apart in the second half, both on corner kicks, with Jason Massie serving the ball in both times.

“He’s a big kid, he took the cup away on us there and pretty much closed out the game,” Ashby said.

Jon Brooks capped the scoring at 74:46 with an unassisted tally.

“They’re a good team, no question about it,” said Ashby. “We went to overtime [Tuesday], we kind of lost our legs there. It was a good battle for the boys here today.”

Giovanni Sinclair was solid in goal for UMFK, coming away with eight saves under constant Rio pressure.

The final score certainly doesn’t indicate how hard the Bengals play.

“Oh no, not at all,” said Ashby. “Rio’s a good team and they executed, simple as that. If Rio doesn’t win the national championship I’ll be greatly surprised.”

Nate Walzer saved both UMFK shots for Rio.

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