By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
Tourbeau's National Men's Soccer Game of the Week, presented by NSCAA and Admiral Soccer
No. 1 Belhaven (Miss.) (1-1-1) vs. No. 9 Rio Grande (Ohio) (2-0-0)
Saturday, September 7, 4:30 p.m. EDT | Indiana Wesleyan University, Marian, Ind.
• Defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Belhaven (Miss.) will meet No. 9 Rio Grande (Ohio), a 2012 national championship tournament team, in an early-season tournament match at Indiana Wesleyan.
• When the teams last played, in the 2011 national championship tournament, Rio Grande clinched 1-0 overtime victory, and a berth to the quarterfinals, on a Richard Isberner goal in the 95th minute.
• Belhaven (1-1-1) competed in the Capital City Classic last weekend in Montgomery, Ala. The tournament brought together four preseason Top 25 teams: No. 1 Belhaven, No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), No. 5 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and No. 15 Ashford (Iowa). Belhaven tied Lindsey Wilson (2-2) and lost to Ashford (1-2). Rio Grande (2-0-0) is coming off of a 1-0 victory over (RV) Indiana Wesleyan.
• This season, Belhaven is looking to defend its national title after appearing in the past three national championship tournaments. Rio Grande is looking to extend its streak of 12-straight national championship tournament berths, second only to Lindsey Wilson, who has 19 consecutive appearances.
• Belhaven lost two of its top offensive performers from a season ago in Loic Miliani and Guilherme Sousa. Miliani led the team with 12 assists, 12th in the NAIA, and tied for third on the team with six goals. Sousa tied for third on the team with six goals and was fourth on the team with four assists.
• Rio Grande graduated seven seniors from a 2012 squad that ranked in the top 10 in the NAIA in shots per game (2nd, 22.65), shots on goal per game (4th, 11.40), goals per game (6th, 3.70), assists per game (8th, 2.70), total goals (8th, 74) and total assists (9th, 54). That group included two-time, first-team All-American Richard Isberner, who led the team in goals (22), assists (13) and points (57) and ranked in the top 10 in the NAIA in goals per game (3rd, 1.22), assists per game (7th, .72), points per game (3rd, 3.17), total goals (8th, 22), total assists (7th, 13) and total points (5th, 57). The Red Storm also lost second-team All-America midfielder Oliver Hewitt-Fisher and two third-team All-Americans, defender Mike Burney and goalkeeper Jack Marchant.
• Belhaven returns three of its top five scorers and three of its top five assist men from a year ago. The Blazers will build around senior All-America forward Will Monsour, who led the team in goals (19) and points (43) and was third on the team in assists (5) last season. Monsour ranked among the top 25 nationally in game winning goals per game (4th, .33), total game winning goals (6th, 6), goals per game (11th, 1.06), total goals (14th, 19), points per game (16th, 2.39) and total points (21st, 43). Other key returners for the Blazers include: Victor Lawrence, who was second on the team in goals (11), Eduardo Cruz, who contributed six goals and was second on the team in assists (7), and Victor France, who tallied five goals and two assists.
• Rio Grande returns two of its top five scorers and one of its top five assist men from a year ago. Key returners for the Red Storm include: Maximiliano Viera, who was second on the team in goals (10) and fifth on the team in assists (5), Luiz Filho who contributed five goals and one assist, and Orlando Zapata, who tallied three goals and three assists.
• Belhaven went 19-4-1 last season, finishing fourth in the competitive Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) that produced four national championship tournament teams—including both national championship finalists in Belhaven and preseason No. 2 Mobile (Ala.). Despite being defending national champions, the Blazers, who joined the SSAC in 2010, are looking to capture their first conference title in 2013.
• Rio Grande went 16-3-1 last season, winning the Mid-South Conference with a 9-0-0 mark against conference opponents. Despite entering the season as defending conference champions, the Red Storm were predicted to finish second in the conference behind 2012 national semifinalist and nine-time national champion Lindsey Wilson.
• Belhaven excelled against non-conference competition last year, going 12-1-0. Its only “non-conference” loss came against conference foe Southern Poly (Ga.) in the first round of the SSAC Tournament. Rio Grande struggled in non-conference play in 2012, finishing with a 7-3-1 non-conference record.
• To watch the live stream of the Tourbeau's National Men's Soccer Game of the Week, presented by NSCAA and Admiral Soccer, click here.
• To view the complete list of Tourbeau's National Men's Soccer Games of the Week, presented by NSCAA and Admiral Soccer, click here.
This Week Around the Top 25
• Ten preseason Top 25 teams, including four of the top five, have already suffered their first loss of 2013: No. 1 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), No. 4 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 5 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 10 Science & Arts (Okla.), No. 11 Concordia (Ore.), No. 12 Columbia (Mo.), No. 15 Ashford (Iowa), No. 16 Jamestown (N.D.) and No. 23 Kansas Wesleyan.
• Last week, there were six Top 25 matchups and six games against opponents who received votes in the preseason poll. Top 25 teams went 3-3-0 against opponents who received votes and 18-3-0 against unranked opponents.
• This week of Sept. 2-Sept. 8 features 24 of the Top 25 teams in action, including three Top 25 matchups:
o Friday – No. 20 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) at No. 24 St. Thomas (Fla.)
o Saturday – No. 1 Belhaven vs. No. 9 Rio Grande (Ohio) in the Indiana Wesleyan Tournament
o Sunday – No. 6 Concordia (Calif.) vs. No. 23 Kansas Wesleyan
• This week also features six games that pit Top 25 teams against teams who received votes in the preseason poll:
o Monday– No. 2 Mobile (Ala.) def. (RV) Thomas (Ga.), 2-1
o Monday – (RV) Baker (Kan.) tied No. 12 Columbia, 1-1
o Friday – No. 1 Belhaven at (RV) Indiana Wesleyan in the Indiana Wesleyan Tournament
o Friday – No. 6 Concordia (Calif.) at (RV) Baker
o Saturday– (RV) Tennessee Wesleyan at No. 3 Lindsey Wilson
o Saturday – No. 18 Missouri Valley at (RV) Grand View (Iowa)
• For the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, click here.
For the Record*
• Dean Johnson secured a place in the NAIA Regular Season record book with his six-assist and 18-point performance in Pikeville’s (Ky.) 15-0 victory over NCCAA Johnson (Tenn.) on Aug. 31. Johnson’s stat line tied him for second all-time in assists and points in an individual regular season NAIA contest.
• Jimmy Hampton of Science and Arts (Okla.), Ron Pulvers of Cal State San Marcos, Wulf Koch of Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and Tom Maxon of Morningside (Iowa) all sit within striking distance of the 200 career win plateau this season. Hampton is the closest of the quartet with 196 career victories heading into the Drovers game against Texas at Brownsville Thursday.
• Warner Pacific (Ore.) head coach Bernie Fagan and Hastings (Neb.) head coach Chris Kranjc could each move into the Top 25 on the Men’s Soccer Coaches All-Time Wins list this year. Fagan, who opened the season with 253 career victories, is just six wins away from Dwain Hartzler’s career mark of 259 wins. Hartzler is currently ranked No. 25 on the all-time wins list. Kranjc, who began the year with 246 career victories, has a bit further to climb. Both Fagan (10th) and Kranjc (11th) are among the Top 25 on the Men’s Soccer Coaches Active Wins list.
• Cooper Gaypia and Dean Johnson of Pikeville (Ky.) are the early season leaders for goals, with 8 and 7 respectively. In the Bears 15-0 rout of Johnson University of the National Christian College Athletic Association on Aug. 31, Cooper scored five goals and Johnson recorded this season's NAIA game-highs in goals (6), assists (6) and points (18).
• That performance vaulted Dean Johnson to the top of the NAIA leaderboard in assists with eight. Scott Smith of Marymount (Calif.) is second on the list with six assists in just three games.
• Cooper Gaypia, Dean Johnson and Scott Smith are also the top three point-getters in the NAIA with 22, 18 and 16 respectively.
• Thirteen goaltenders enter Thursday with a 0.00 goals against average. Alejandro Olmos leads the nation with 35 saves in five games for Waldorf (Iowa).
• Among teams who have played at least one regular season game, fifty remain unbeaten.
• Marian (Ind.) leads all teams with 24 goals and 20 assists in three matches this season. Eleven different players have scored for the Knights. Marymount is tied for the NAIA lead with 20 assists in three matches this year. Eleven different players have assisted on a goal for the Mariners.
• For a complete look at the NAIA statistical leaders, click here.
*According to DakStats and team submission of statistics.
Looking Ahead to the National Championship
• The 55th annual National Championship will take place in Montgomery, Ala. This is the fourth-straight year the championship will be held in the state of Alabama with the 2010-11 events being held in Orange Beach, Ala., and the 2012 championship also taking place in Montgomery, Ala. The 2013 championship will be contested from Dec. 2-7 at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex, with opening round games taking place on Nov. 23 at on-campus sites.
List of NAIA Schools Participating in Men's Soccer – Click here.
National Championship Information – Click here.
NAIA Men’s Soccer Regular Season Records – Click here.
NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Records – Click here.