Rio Grande beats MidAmerica Nazarene for NAIA championship
A free kick goal from 40 yards out in overtime clinched Rio Grande’s second national championship against MidAmerica Nazarene.
The Red Storm (23-1) from Ohio and the Pioneers (18-6-1) played 95 minutes of scoreless soccer before Jeremy de Hoog’s bullet found the upper left hand corner of the goal to clinch the second national title in program history. The previous title came in 2003; they were runners-up in 2008.
The clean sheet was the fourth straight for goalkeeper Benjamin Martinez, a freshman from Montpelier, France who was named the MVP and most outstanding defender of the tournament. He made four saves in the final.
After conceding a goal in their opening round match with Bethel (Tenn.), the Red Storm defense held opponents scoreless for 417 minutes.