Filho, Rodriguez Shine In 7-0 Defeat Of Pikeville

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It was the Pau Rodriguez and Luiz Filho show Wednesday evening at Evan E. Davis Field as the Rio Grande RedStorm stomped the Pikeville (Ky.) Bears 7-0.

Filho assisted on two Pau Rodriguez goals in the first half and collected three goals on the evening. The reigning NAIA National Player of the Week recorded his third straight hat trick in the victory. Filho connected in the 44th, 59th, 81st minutes.

“Obviously he did very well,” said head coach Scott Morrissey. “Striker, put the ball in the back of the net, that’s what you want him to do.”

Rodriguez also turned in a stellar performance for the RedStorm, posting the first two goals on the night, both coming from Filho assists.

“Pau was fantastic tonight,” said Morrissey. “[Rodriguez and Filho] linked very, very well. Pau scored a couple terrific goals. His movement off the ball from the attacking midfield position was fantastic.”

Orlando Zapata contributed a goal and two assists to Rio’s cause.

After Rodriguez’s first goal, Pikeville put on the pressure and found some of its best opportunities of the game near the penalty area. A shot found the post and ended up harmlessly out of play in the 26th minute.

A few minutes later, the Bears’ players began vocally showing their disapproval to referee David Curley’s calls. Coach Adam Johnson was then shown out after earning a red card in the 31st minute. Energized by their coaches’ fire, the Bears played several minutes of aggressive ball before Pau Rodriguez netted his second goal of the night. This marked the turning point as Filho utilized his head in scoring a goal just 1:10 later and Rio went up 3-0.

Unlike Rio’s past two victories in which its defense was hardly tested, the Bears offense posted 12 shots, with five getting on goal. A Cooper Gaypia shot bounced off of the goal post in what was the closest opportunity Pikeville had all night.

Though Morrissey did note excellent individual effort from the likes of Filho, Rodriguez, Maximilliano Viera, Cesar Lopez and goalie Jon Dodson, he had some strong criticisms of his squad. He mostly cited lethargic play and mental mistakes.

“There were good performances,” he said, “but I always try to focus on the whole team concept. And as a team, we have got to do better. We can’t just think we are going to turn up and get a result because we are Rio Grande.”

The RedStorm moved to 8-1-1 with the victory, 3-0-1 in Mid-South Conference play. Rio turns around and heads out to Campbellsvile, Ky., for a Saturday night showdown with the MSC’s fourth-place Tigers.