Updated Tue, Dec 3, 2013 4:20 pm
The RedStorm weathered the storm. Literally. Rio Grande took the No. 12 Embry-Riddle Eagles into a shootout in the pouring rain and pulled out a 6-5 victory in penalty kicks.
After two scoreless overtimes with a 1-1 score, the Eagles and RedStorm stepped up to take six penalty kicks each. The two battled back and forth. The Eagles shot first and scored each of their first five kicks.
Maximilliano Viera, Ryota Tonegawa, Luiz Filho, Willian Paulino and Romain Terzain each scored in response, in that order. Embry-Riddle finally missed on their sixth attempt, with Nicklaus Petersson shanking his shot off the bar. Callum Cobb proceeded to bury the winning goal to the elation of the squad.
The RedStorm almost did not get to that moment.
Embry-Riddle missed an open shot on goal in the first overtime, allowing Rio Grande to live on. A made goal would have ended the contest via golden goal.
Pau Rodriguez scored 16 minutes into the match for the RedStorm. The ball was dropped by keeper Nils Carlson and trickled into the back of the net, giving them an early 1-0 lead.
Eric Norburg knotted things up two minutes later for the Eagles, providing the only other score in regulation or overtime.
The two squads fought tooth and nail, back and forth, on the damp field in Montgomery, Ala., jockeying for position for the better part of another 90 minutes. However, it was the No. 2 ranked and fifth-seeded RedStorm that moved on to live another day.
The Eagles, who came into the contest among the best in the country in the assist and shutout categories, just were not able to find the net enough, even after putting up nine shots on goal. RedStorm keeper Jon Dodson played well in his most important game thus far in the net for Rio, making eight saves.
Willam Paulino was freed up to take eight shots, two of which were on goal. He was never able to score, but it did not matter in the end.
Rio now has No. 4 seeded Ashford (Iowa) to look forward to on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at noon. A win would propel them to the Final Four of the NAIA soccer tournament.