Updated Sun, Sep 8, 2013 6:39 pm
The first loss of the season is not usually greeted with smiles, but nobody would blame the Rio Grande RedStorm if they failed to feel too bad about their 2-1 loss to Belhaven (Miss.) University.
An Eduardo Cruz goal in the 82nd minute provided the Blazers (last season’s NAIA National Champions) with the goal they needed to earn the 2-1 victory. This was the last game for both teams in the Indiana Wesleyan tournament.
Rio head coach Scott Morrissey started neither of his normal starting forwards, Luiz Filho and William Paulino, and it seemed to pay off. Rio found the net first courtesy of sparkplug Orlando Zapata’s goal in the 14th minute of action.
Filho and Paulino came in in the 24th minute but not much would materialize with their help.
Belhaven responded in the second half with two goals, the first of which came in the 55th minute with Jermaine Metz burying the shot.
The RedStorm posted nine shots to the Blazers’ eight, and the two teams combined for 33 fouls and numerous yellow cards.
The loss snapped a 17-game regular season unbeaten streak for the RedStorm that dated back to last season. Rio’s last loss came to Saint Xavier University in the 2012 season opener.