Tourbeau's National Game of the Week: Rio Grande vs. Belhaven (men)
This week, Tourbeau’s National Men’s Soccer Game of the Week will feature a pair of top 10 NAIA teams, Saturday, Sept. 7 at 4:30 p.m. ET.
No. 9 Rio Grande (Ohio) takes on No. 1 Belhaven as a part of the Indiana Wesleyan Tournament in Marion, Ind.
In 2012, head coach Brian McMahon lead Belhaven to a 19-4-1 record and the NAIA National Championship. Three games into their 2013 title defense, the Blazers are sitting at 1-1-1, having beaten Talladega (Ala.), tied No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), and lost to No. 15 Ashford (Iowa).
Guiding Belhaven on the pitch this year is Will Monsour, returning for his senior year to lead the Blazers’ offense yet again. In 2012, Monsour raked up 43 points on 19 goals, six game winners, and five assists. Monsour’s performance earned him a Third Team NAIA All-American kudos.
Senior David Major is also making a bid to be a contributing factor to the Belhaven attack this year. The defender has already produced two goals through three competitions, matching his total goal production in 2012. The first of which came in the form of a game-winner against Talladega and the second coming as the Blazer’s only tally in their loss to Ashford.
No. 9 Rio Grande is known to have plenty of firepower of their own, as the Red Storm earned their 50th consecutive Top 10 ranking dating to 2009. However, their No. 9 ranking marks just the fourth time Rio Grande has dropped out of the top five in the preseason poll.
Last season, the Red Storm went a perfect 9-0 in conference play to earn the Mid-South Conference regular season championship. The squad would go on to finish 16-3-1, losing to conference foe Lindsey Wilson in the MSC tournament championship and eventually falling in the second round of the NAIA National Tournament to Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.).
After losing seven seniors (including four All-Americans) from a year ago, head coach Scott Morrissey has his team off to a solid 2-0 start with wins over Saint Xavier (state) and Indiana Wesleyan. Five of the Red Storm players have already found the back of the net, including forward Luis Filho who looks to be in form as he has three goals on the young season.
This game is going to be a battle, as both teams will be entering the match on tired legs. Both squads kickoff tournament play on Friday, Sept. 6 as Rio Grande will be up against Davenport (Mich.) and Belhaven will play tournament host Indiana Wesleyan (Ind.) before they square off against each other on Saturday.
NSCAATV: Rio Grande vs. Belhaven (men)
When: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013
Location: Marion, Ind.
Game time: 4:30 p.m. EST