Filho’s Hat Trick Helps No. 3 Rio To 6-0 Victory

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Fueled by a burst of goals late in the first half, Luiz Filho powered the Rio Grande RedStorm to a 6-0 thrashing of the Bluefield (Va.) College Rams.

Filho put three past Rams keeper Jefferson Watson, with all of them coming in a 10-minute time frame. Coach Scott Morrissey was positive but had some fair words of constructive criticism for Filho.

“Luis always works really hard. I feel he has got to do a better job in and around the box, still gets the hat trick which is always good” he said.  “He’s certainly capable of doing that on a regular basis. We just got to get him a little better in the box.”

Rio struggled to get a good strike on any balls near the box, failing to score until the 38th minute, when Filho fell in the box and earned himself a penalty kick. Filho, after a prolonged wait before the shot as he tied his cleats, buried the ball into the left lower corner of the net to give Rio the 1-0 advantage.

Just 26 seconds later, Rio capitalized on a deflated Rams group as Filho weaved his way to the box and put another ball past the keeper to the left. Patricio Arce assisted on the goal.

Arce helped provide another opportunity just two and a half minutes later when he played a nice ball to Pau Delgado-Rodriguez who scored the third RedStorm goal of the night.

At this point, the Rams were bickering back and forth, yelling at the referees and the Bluefield coaches were screaming.

Rio started the second half in control, and ended up scoring in the 48th, 68th, and 86th minutes, courtesy of goals by Filho, Orlando Zapata, and Edward Mussi.

Zapata’s goal was a beauty as he struck with his left foot from a slight angle on the right and bent the ball just inside of the left post.

Rio even managed to substitute some junior varsity players in for their first varsity time, and Morrissey was happy for them to see the pitch.

“For us, it was about … trying to continue to execute and grow as a team and guys got an opportunity,” he said. “We rested some players tonight. There was a couple guys that are carrying some injuries, that we wanted to just give guys another opportunity to play.”

The RedStorm did not field Maximilliano Viera, Heitor De Melo, or William Paulino, all of whom are consistent starters on the team.

There was not a consensus on Viera, but Paulino and De Melo both sat with injuries. Paulino is out for a short stint with a groin injury suffered in the Lindsey Wilson match.

Unfortunately for Rio, Morrissey confirmed De Melo is out for the season with a torn left ACL also sustained in the Lindsey Wilson game.

On the bright side of things for the Storm, they moved up to No. 3 in the NAIA rankings after that hard-fought Saturday draw with the Blue Raiders.

Rio is set for a showdown vs. Point Park Sunday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m.