Richard Bland Opens Season With 4-0 Victory Past USC Lancaster

Richard Bland Opens Season With 4-0 Victory Past USC Lancaster

RICHMOND, Va. -- Sophomores Dusan Stankovic/Belgrade, Serbia and Hussein Osman/Charlottesville, along with freshmen Davi Girardi/São Paulo, Brazil and Romeo Kayizali/Kigali, Rwanda, each scored goals to lead Richard Bland College to a 4-0 season-opening and Region X Conference men's soccer victory past USC Lancaster on Thursday afternoon at Ukrop Field in Richmond.  Freshman Ervin Ikanovic/Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina contributed two assists, while sophomore Jamie McAvoy/Ayr, Scotland and freshman Umar Mujahid/Meherrin, each had one assist for the host Statesmen (1-0, 1-0 Region X) against the visiting Lancers (0-1, 0-1 Region X).

"We did enough to win, but we need to be more clinical in the final third," said fourth-year head coach Eduardo de Souza.  "As we progress in the season, the battles will require more work and we will need to raise our game.  We'll have a real test at North Carolina Wesleyan on Sunday."

Richard Bland needed just 1:45 to score its first goal of the campaign, as Mujahid slipped a nice crossing pass into the box from the left side that Stankovic collected and promptly found the back of the net for the early 1-0 advantage.  The Statesmen took a 2-0 lead at 26:33 when Girardi scored on a header from a corner kick by McAvoy, and it remained 2-0 at the intermission.

Richard Bland made it a three-goal contest at 72:38 when Osman took a crossing pass from Ikanovic on the left side and beat the keeper.  The Statesmen added a late goal at 86:17, courtesy of another assist by Ikanovic, this time from a deflection in the box to Kayizali for the easy goal.

Sophomore Tomás Fonseca/Torres Vedras, Portugal started in front of the net for Richard Bland and played the entire 90 minutes to earn credit for the first shutout of the season.

Richard Bland took a commanding 27-3 advantage in shots against USC Lancaster, including 15-0 in attempts on goal.  The Statesmen had a 9-1 edge in corner kicks.  Stankovic led the squad with six shots, three on goal, while Osman took five shots, four on target.

Richard Bland leads the all-time series between the two schools in the sport of men's soccer, 6-4, including four consecutive wins.

Richard Bland will play its official home opener against Region X opponent Wake Technical (N.C.) Community College on Thursday, August 31, at 3 p.m. at the recently renovated Statesman Soccer Field.