SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Freshman Uziel Hernandez/The Villages, Florida scored the game-winning goal with 2:46 left in the second overtime to lead No. 17 Richard Bland College to a 1-0 Region X men's soccer road victory at Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) College on Saturday evening in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Freshman Davi Girardi/São Paulo, Brazil assisted on the decisive goal for the visiting Statesmen (11-1, 9-1 Region X) against the host Pioneers (7-5, 4-5 Region X). Richard Bland will play at Louisburg College on Wednesday, October 4, at 4 p.m. in Louisburg, North Carolina.
"Today was good to see the guys grind out a result against a very tough opponent," said fourth-year head coach Eduardo de Souza. "The game was even, but we scored on a good counter-attack from Davi to Uziel, who sprinted between two defenders and poked the ball in. Now our attention and focus is on Louisburg Wednesday."
Richard Bland and Spartanburg Methodist battled scoreless through 90 minutes of regulation and nearly both of the extra 10-minute overtime periods before Hernandez found the back of the net at 107:14. It was the seventh goal of the season for Hernandez, while the assist by Girardi was his fourth this fall.
Sophomore keeper Tomás Fonseca/Torres Vedras, Portugal started in front of the net for Richard Bland and played the entire contest to earn his sixth shutout, and the team's eighth shutout this season.
Richard Bland and Spartanburg Methodist were meeting for the 12th time in the sport of men's soccer. The Pioneers continue to lead the all-time series, 8-3-1. The Statesmen, however, did sweep SMC this season … including a 5-0 home shutout on September 9 at the Statesman Soccer Field.
Richard Bland will look to avenge its only setback this season when it plays at Louisburg next week. The Hurricanes defeated the Statesmen 2-1 in overtime on Sept. 26 at the Statesman Soccer Field, scoring the game-tying goal on a penalty kick with just 43-seconds remaining in regulation, and scoring the game-winning goal on another PK only 1:02 into the extra period.