SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. – Richard Bland College battled tough against defending NJCAA Division I National Champion Louisburg College before dropping a 1-0 decision on Tuesday evening at Statesman Field. Freshmen Dusan Stankovic/Belgrade, Serbia and Miguel Ramos/Casal de Cambra, Portugal each had two shots on goal for the host Statesmen (3-2-0, 2-2-0) against the visiting Hurricanes (2-0-0, 2-0-0) in Region X Conference action. RBC will play on the road at Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist College on Saturday, September 10 at 2 p.m. in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
"I'm very disappointed with the loss today," said third-year head coach Eduardo de Souza. "I don't think we played with the passion that we should have played with against a national champion. We dominated parts of the game ... but sometimes this game is made by set pieces and that was what happened today. My team needs to learn some lessons from today and understand the importance of each and every game as we move forward."
Richard Bland controlled much of the action for the opening 45 minutes and it looked like it would remain scoreless at the intermission before a late first-half goal by Louisburg. The Hurricanes managed what would prove to be the only goal of the contest at 43:39, courtesy of a corner kick opportunity taken by Timur Salah and headed into the net by Isiah Rowland.
The Statesmen continued battling last year's national champs throughout the second half, matching their opening period total with three more shots on goal. Unfortunately, the LC keeper made the stops and prevented the hosts from earning the equalizer over the final 45 minutes.
Freshman keeper Justin Ennis/Gainesville started in front of the net for the Statesmen, playing the 90 minutes while making four saves and yielding the lone goal.
Louisburg took a narrow 10-9 advantage in shots against Richard Bland, though the Statesmen led 6-5 in attempts on goal. RBC also had a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks.
On Saturday, the Statesmen will be looking to avenge a 2-1 home setback to the SMC Pioneers on August 28.