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Rios Hat Trick Leads RVCC Past OCC

Zac Rios (Middlesex HS) ripped a free kick past Ocean County College goalkeeper Brian Jones 8:16 into the first OT to lead RVCC to a 3-2 victory in their home opener.  The game winner capped a big day for Rios who finished with his first collegiate goal, first hat trick and first game winning goal.

OCC took the lead 4:41 into first half when Keemo Clark ran onto loose ball off an RVCC goal kick and finished past Adam Wick (Middlesex HS) to make it 1-0.  The Golden Lions created several chances to level the score with Geovanny Barboza (Middlesex HS) and Anthony Hernandez (North Plainfield HS) continually threatening on the left side.  Adekunle Akande (Phillipsburg HS) rolled a low shot just wide of the post late in the half.  Inside the final nine minutes of the first half, Zac Rios netted his first goal of the game when he collected a Christian Sevilla lofted ball, slipped past a defender and scored to tie the game at 1-1. 

Despite OCC having good possession in the opening minutes, the Golden Lions struck first in the second half.  Anthony Hernandez collected a loose ball, connected with Mike Zamora (Hillsborough HS) on the left wing, Zamora played an outside-of-the-foot ball down the line for Adekunle Akande who found a streaking Rios just inside the penalty area.  Rios powered a first time shot just under the bar for his second of the game putting RVCC ahead 2-1.  Christian Sevilla narrowly missed extending the lead when he ran onto a turnover forced by Abdul Sumaila and smashed a rising shot just wide of the far post.  The Vikings knotted the score with 4:01 left in the match; Adam Wick dropped a ball at the feet of Garrett Garcia who finished from close range to tie the match at 2-2.

In overtime, Rios buried his 3rd goal and earned RVCC their first win of the season when his swerving free kick found the back of the net.  Adam Wick was credited with 2 saves in the win.  RVCC impressively bounced back from a tough opening day loss and improves to 1-1-0 on the year, OCC falls to 0-1-0. 

The Golden Lions meet Sussex County Community College on Tuesday, September 8th, kickoff is 3:30pm in Branchburg.  Follow all RVCC athletics online at and on Twitter @RVCCAthletics.