VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS (YouTube)
SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. -- Freshman Davi Girardi/São Paulo, Brazil scored two goals for the third-straight match, while sophomores Dusan Stankovic/Belgrade, Serbia and Hussein Osman/Charlottesville along with freshman Ervin Ikanovic/Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina each added one goal, to lead Richard Bland College to a 5-0 Region X men's soccer victory past Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) College on Saturday afternoon at Statesman Soccer Field. Girardi, Osman, sophomore Jamie McAvoy/Ayr, Scotland along with freshmen Uziel Hernandez/The Villages, Florida and Max Turner/Christchurch, England each had one assist for the host Statesmen (5-0, 4-0 Region X) against the visiting Pioneers (2-3, 2-3 Region X). Richard Bland will play on the road for the first time this season with a Region X match at Cape Fear Community College on Wednesday, September 12, at 4 p.m. in Wilmington, North Carolina.
"We came out very prepared today with one hundred percent focus and that was what made the difference," said fourth-year head coach Eduardo de Souza. "Our attitude of respecting every opponent and preparing extremely hard for every game is the key for our team success. Now we have two hard games on the road that we need to be even more prepared for."
Richard Bland took an early advantage when Girardi scored his seventh goal of the season at 11:24, once-again converting on a corner kick opportunity from McAvoy that Hernandez also touched before Girardi finished it into the back of the net. It was the team-leading sixth assist of the fall for McAvoy. Stankovic made it 2-0 at 21:48 with a successful penalty kick, his third goal of the year, following a foul inside the box. The Statesmen led 3-0 at the intermission after Ikanovic tallied his first collegiate goal at 44:10, getting an assist inside the box from Turner.
Richard Bland, enjoying its finest start to a season in the five-year history of the program, extended its margin to 4-0 when Girardi scored his second goal of the match and team-leading eighth of the season at 51:29, getting an assist in close from Osman. Ironically, Girardi was able to return the favor to Osman just minutes later at 54:18, slipping a similar pass inside the box to Osman who scored his third goal of the season.
Sophomore keeper Tomás Fonseca/Torres Vedras, Portugal started in front of the net for Richard Bland and played the entire 90 minutes to earn his second shutout, and the team's third shutout in five contests.
Richard Bland took a 17-3 advantage in shots against Spartanburg Methodist, including 10-0 in attempts on goal. The Statesmen and Pioneers each had three corner kicks.
Richard Bland and Spartanburg Methodist were meeting for the 11th time in the sport of men's soccer. The Pioneers continue to lead the all-time series, 8-2-1.