Akron Draws with Wake Forest
AKRON, OH – October 29, 2011 - Goals by Thomas Schmitt and Reinaldo Brenes were not enough to get a win for the Akron men's soccer team on Senior Night as the Zips finished even with visiting Wake Forest at 2-2.
Akron improves to 12-2-3 on the year and Wake Forest go to 8-7-3. The Demon Deacons were the first ACC school to play in Akron since 1993. Sam Fink knocked the game–tying goal with just four minutes left in regulation to save the result for the Deacons.
“We saw this game as a measuring stick for the playoffs,” Akron Head Coach Caleb Porter said. “We knew that this game was going to be a tough challenge and I think our guys rose to the challenge.”
The Zips could not find a way to break the Wake defense, as the Demon Deacons gave Akron a run for their money, taking them out of their tempo. Although the Deacons managed a pair of shots in the first half and made the Zips work for possession, they ended goalless at the half.
Towards the end of the first half, the Zips found the tempo they are accustomed to and put the heat on the Wake Forest backline. Then the Zips broke through with just 5:45 left in the half thanks to Schmitt. Schmitt collected the ball after a broken corner and put his shot through traffic and gave the Zips the 1-0 lead.
Wake Forest came out to the second frame with some vigor and again gave the Zips some troubles. Within the first ten minutes, Akron midfielder Wil Trapp had to clear the ball off the line from a Wake corner.
The Deacons would not go quietly and tied the match up at 1-1 with 25:57 left in regulation. Sean Okoli weaved his way through the Akron defense and took a nice shot from outside of the box and curved it around the diving Akron keeper David Meves to tie the match.
Akron tried to get the go ahead from there, collecting six corners in the second half alone. On their fifth corner, an unmarked Reinaldo Brenes flicked the ball into the corner of the net with his head and Akron again led with 15 minutes left to play. Scott Caldwell collected the assist, his second of the night.
Both Akron and Wake played a nervous 11 remaining minutes as both teams played dangerously in their own box. Akron had a ball roll along the goal line that did not go in, then the Deacons answered the Zips goal and a header from Sam Fink was floated over Meves and Wake tied the game at 2-2 with just four minutes to go in regulation.
“I thought that we scored two great goals, but the problem is that we gave up two soft goals,” Porter said.
Akron forward Darren Mattocks had a shot in front of the goal went high and Akron could not win it in regulation. Mattocks again had a chance to put away the Deacons, but his chip in overtime on a breakaway could not get high enough over the Wake Forest goalkeeper.
Akron will have their final regular season home match Wednesday with a matchup with Michigan State starting at 7:30 p.m. The Zips already own the right to host the MAC Tournament starting Friday, November 11.
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Akron Men's Soccer Claims Seventh-Straight MAC Regular-Season Championship
AKRON, OH – October 26, 2011 - Sophomore Darren Mattocks continued his scoring binge with two more goals and an assist to lead the No. 7 University of Akron men's soccer team to a 3-0 victory over Bowling Green Wednesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. With the win, the Zips (12-2-2, 5-0) secured their seventh-consecutive Mid-American Conference regular-season championship and the right to host the league tournament on Nov. 11-13.
Mattocks, who recorded his second hat trick of the season last weekend at Buffalo, broke a scoreless tie in the 48th minute, assisted UA's second goal in the 63rd minute, then provided the game's final margin with his 17th goal in 15 matches in the 77th minute. The Zips also extended a pair of historic streaks Wednesday, pushing their NCAA-record home unbeaten steak to 47 matches (44-0-3) and their conference undefeated streak to 36 (34-0-2).
Akron dominated possession in the first half, out-shooting Bowling Green 8-0 in the first 45 minutes. Regardless, the Zips and Falcons went into the locker room with a scoreless tie. But UA didn't waste time after the break, finding the net in the first three minutes. Sophomore Zac Portillos played the ball into Scott Caldwell, who made the turn and fired from straight on near the penalty mark. BGSU keeper Miguel Rosales, who finished with six saves, threw his hands up to punch the ball out but Mattocks pounced on it and buried it from close range.
The Falcons (7-4-3, 1-2-1), who have scored one goal in their last five matches, responded with a dangerous sequence to try to get the goal back minutes later. But Akron goalkeeper David Meves was up to the task, making a pair of saves on shots by Rodcliff Hall in the 61st minute and Brandon Silva in the 63rd minute. Junior Thomas Schmitt gave the Zips a 2-0 lead in the 73rd minute on a well-executed give-and-go with Mattocks. It was the fourth goal of the year for Schmitt, who continues to enjoy a breakout season. Mattocks then cleaned up a long-ranged shot from Eric Stevenson in 77th minute to record his 17th goal in 15 matches. Dating back to his freshman season in 2010, the Jamaican has now scored 35 goals in 40 games. For the game, Akron, which has now scored eight goals in its last two contests, out-shot Bowling Green 18-6, including a 9-2 margin on frame.
The Zips will next host ACC power Wake Forest Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Seniors Michael Balogun, Matt Dagilis and Luke Holmes will be recognized during a pregame Senior Night ceremony.
UA Men's Soccer Storms Past Bulls with Five Second-Half Goals
BUFFALO, NY - October 21, 2011 - Sophomore striker Darren Mattocks recorded his second hat trick of the season as The No. 4 University of Akron men's soccer team scored five second-half goals to blitz by Buffalo, 5-2, Friday night at UB Stadium.
Overall, it was the third career hat trick for Mattocks, who has scored 15 goals in 14 matches this fall, and the fourth time he has scored two or more goals in a game this year. Adding to his big night, Mattocks also assisted Akron's fourth goal late in the second half. With the win, the Zips improved to 11-2-2 overall and 4-0 in Mid-American Conference play.
"Buffalo awakened a sleeping giant," UA head coach Caleb Porter said. "I knew this team had that type of killer instinct in them. I've seen it for periods in a few games when their backs were against the wall. But that second half was exactly what I've been waiting for. With a new group, sometimes it just takes time and finally the light bulb went on."
Despite UA's 9-1 advantage in shots in the first half, Akron and Buffalo (7-7-1, 2-2 MAC) played to a scoreless draw after the first 45 minutes. But the Zips rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 after the break to extend their conference unbeaten streak to 35 (33-0-2) games, which matches Appalachian State (1977-82) for the fourth-longest streak in NCAA history. Mattocks tied the game at 1-all in the 60th minute, then found the equalizer again four minutes later. Leaving little doubt of the outcome, the Jamaican provided the game's final margin with his third goal with 12 minutes to play. Senior Luke Holmes, who also finished with a pair of assists, delivered the game-winner in the 66th minute with a goal assisted by Reinaldo Brenes.
"Our pressure was relentless and even though we gave up a couple of goals on a counter attack and penalty kick, we really got after it and fought for 90 minutes," Porter added. "It was great to see Luke Holmes, Reinaldo Brenes and Aodhan Quinn all come to life and play like we know they can. It was also great to see our most experienced players like Darren, Scott Caldwell and Chad Barson step up their games and put in tremendous performances."
It was a fair result for the Zips, who out-shot the Bulls 23-5 for the game, yet found themselves trailing twice after Richard Craven gave UB a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute and Andy Tiedt put the host Bulls on top 2-1 on a penalty kick just minutes after Mattocks pulled UA even. Caldwell made it 4-2 in the 71st minute after receiving a string of passes from Mattocks and Brenes.
"I would be remisce if I didn't mention our freshmen Wil Trapp, Bryan Gallego and DeAndre Yedlin," Porter said. "They continue to mature and played like men tonight and it couldn't come at a better time. This was a comprehensive performance from start to finish. We will take a few days to recharge the batteries this weekend and then get back to work for the final stretch with three home games coming up."
The Zips will open a three-game homestand next Wednesday night when Bowling Green comes to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field for a 7:30 p.m. kick off.
U.S. Soccer Names Caleb Porter Head Coach of U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team
CHICAGO, IL - October 20, 2011 – U.S. Soccer has named Caleb Porter the head coach of the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team, effective immediately. Porter will lead the U-23 team in its quest to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games when they compete in CONCACAF qualifying in March next year.
“We are excited to have Caleb join our National Team program,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “Still early in his career, Caleb has been extremely successful and has demonstrated the ability to mentor and develop young players. A proven winner, we believe he will do a great job of leading our Under-23 Men’s National Team as they look to qualify for the Olympic Games next summer.”
The 36-year-old Porter will continue in his role as the head coach of the University of Akron, where he has coached since 2006 and led the Zips to the 2010 NCAA Division I National Championship.
"I am honored and feel extremely privileged to be given this once in a lifetime opportunity to lead the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team,” said Porter. “I'm eager to start the process of putting the pieces together in preparation for Olympic qualifying in March."
Entering this year with a 90-13-10 record spanning five seasons, Porter has the highest winning percentage amongst any active NCAA Division I coach and helped Akron to top-five finishes for goals scored and goals-against-average in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons, the only program in the nation to do so. Porter was named the 2009 NSCAA National Coach of the Year, and has won the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year award four consecutive times since 2007.
Porter has recruited and developed 12 players at Akron who have been drafted into MLS in the last five years, including the 2009 No. 1 overall pick Steve Zakuani, No. 4 pick Teal Bunbury in 2010 and No. 2 pick Darlington Nagbe in 2011. Moreover, Akron set an MLS record with five of the first eight selections in the 2011 SuperDraft and seven draftees overall.
In addition to his time at Akron, Porter has contributed to the U.S. Soccer youth national teams as a U-18 assistant coach and U.S. Soccer Development Academy scout. Porter began his professional playing career in 1998 with the San Jose Clash as the 26th overall pick in the MLS College Draft. He joined the Tampa Bay Mutiny the next season before a knee injury forced him to retire only a year later. Porter is hoping to lead the team to its second consecutive Olympic Games and its fifth since the tournament became an Under-23 event in 1992. The USA’s best finish came in 2000, when the team reached the semifinal round before falling to Spain and finishing fourth.
Local officials from The University of Akron were clearly excited about the big news.
“This is a great honor for Coach Porter, for our University and for all of Northeast Ohio," said UA president Dr. Luis M. Proenza. "Coach Porter has made us all proud, with his sheer determination and drive to succeed. Some are visionaries, others are achievers. Coach Porter is that rare combination of both, and he exemplifies the University's New Gold Standard for University Performance. We look forward to watching the U.S. men's soccer team in their drive to bring home the gold from London.”
"Caleb is most deserving of this opportunity and we are all excited for him," Akron Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill said. "He has enjoyed success at every level of his career as a coach and player, so it's no surprise that he was selected for this role with U.S. Soccer. He has done a tremendous job as head coach of our men's program and I know he's looking forward to representing the United States as a coach at the Olympic level."
Former Akron players were also quick to gather praise and congratulations for Porter.
"I think he's the right man for the job," Chivas USA midfielder Ben Zemanski stated in an interview with ISNSoccer.com. "He will not only put together the right guys for the team, but he will also get them to buy into the way he wants them to play. I'm looking forward to watching him lead our nation's Under-23s against the world's best."
"I couldn't be more excited for Caleb," Montreal Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush said. "He has worked endlessly in his time at Akron, and earned everything that has been given to him. I couldn't think of a better person to lead America's top youths than Caleb Porter."
Finally the AK-ROWDIES, one of the country's largest collegiate soccer supporters' groups, weighed in on Porter's appointment to the national team staff.
"I am extremely excited and proud for Coach Porter," ROWDIES President Brandon Ferguson declared. "This is a big step for him and great recognition for the University of Akron. It will be nice to see him hook up with some former Zips and a ton of other great young talent to win the U.S. Olympic gold!"
UA Men's Soccer Suffers 1-0 Upset at Michigan in OT
ANN ARBOR, MI - October 18, 2011 - The No. 4 University of Akron men's soccer team was defeated by Michigan, 1-0, in the first overtime period at U-M Soccer Stadium Tuesday. A scramble in front of the net led to a chip-shot goal winner by Latife Alashe in the 97th minute.
The goal tainted a career night for UA goalkeeper David Meves, who finished the game with nine saves. For the Zips (10-2-2), it was just their third regular-season road defeat in their last 31 matches. It was also their first loss to a school from the Big Ten since 2008, snapping a 13-game unbeaten streak (12-0-1) against the conference. It was a fairly even played game throughout with both teams earning chances to score. Akron had a number of opportunities to win the game but was a bit unlucky. Aodhan Quinn rang the cross bar with a bender in the 96th minute and a Michigan defender came off the line to clear balls twice during regulation. Wolverines keeper Adam Grinwis had a strong performance as well with five saves, including two point-blank stops of UA striker Darren Mattocks.
Michigan, which had suffered eight one-goal losses this fall and three overtime defeats, improved to 5-10-1 with the upset. The game was played in a steady downpour and the wet field conditions were a factor for both teams. The Zips avoided a disaster in the fourth minute when Chad Barson slipped on the wet grass deep in UA territory and left Tyler Arnone with an open path to the keeper. But Meves was up to the task and turned away Arnone's shot from the top of the box. The Wolverines missed another opportunity in the sixth minute when Mathew Rickard hit the right post. Latif Alashe was there to collect the rebound in the front of the net, but his subsequent shot sailed wide right. Akron had its share of chances too, its first coming on a well-struck ball from DeAndre Yedlin in the opening minutes of the match that was stopped by U-M keeper Adam Grinwis from medium range. Thomas Schmitt then pulled Grinwis out of position late in the first half, but a Michigan defender came off the line to clear the shot. Michigan nearly broke through in the 37th minute when Adam Shaw lined a laser headed for the upper right hand corner of the net. But Meves soared to his left and made a beautiful hand save.
The Zips were a bit unlucky after earning a corner kick early in the second half. Quinn provided perfect service to Chad Barson near the back post in the 48th minute, but Barson's header was sent away by Michigan midfielder Luca Schioppa near the goal line. Quinn led an Akron breakaway in the 68th minute and went down inside the penalty area on a play that was begging for a foul but no call came and the Zips had to resort to a corner kick instead. UA was turned away once again in the 72nd minute on a terrific save by Grinwis following Akron's sixth corner kick of the game. After Quinn's service was punched out by the keeper, Wil Trapp fired a rocket from 25 yards out into a Wolverine defender. Mattocks collected the carom and fired point blank on Grinwis from the near left flank but was denied. U-M finished the second half with a flurry but this time it was Meves' turn to shine. The Preseason All-American made a great stop of Michigan's Noble Sullivan on a 1v1 in the 89th minute. Then, he was there again to smother Kofi Opare's strike behind a wall of defenders seconds before the end of regulation.
Akron will next jump back into Mid-American Conference play Friday at Buffalo. The Zips and Bulls will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Porter Nets 100th Career Win in 2-0 Victory Over Hartwick
AKRON, OH - October 15, 2011 - The No. 5 University of Akron men's soccer team put together a commanding 2-0 victory over Hartwick Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
It was the 100th career win for UA head coach Caleb Porter, who became the fastest in program history to reach the century mark. Porter, who is in his sixth season at Akron, has now compiled a record of 100-14-12 in 126 games. The Zips (10-1-2, 3-0 Mid-American Conference) dominated possession throughout the contest and out-shot the Hawks, 27-2, including a 12-0 margin on frame.
As a team, Akron earned its ninth shutout in 13 matches while extending its NCAA record, home unbeaten streak to 46 games. Junior Thomas Schmitt recorded his second game-winner of the season on a sharp give-and-go play with Aodhan Quinn in the 67th minute. Sophomore Darren Mattocks made it 2-0 with his 12th goal in 12 matches in the 86th minute. The final margin could have easily been greater had it not been for a truly commendable game by Hartwick goalkeeper Mateo Munarriz, who was quick off his line all night and finished with 10 saves.
The Zips were patient with their attack and wore down the defense with relentless pressure in the final third. Hartwick (5-5-2, 1-1-0), which was more than happy than to sit back and rely on counter attacks and set pieces, was able to keep UA off the board in the first half but could not withstand the assault after the intermission. Akron out-shot Hartwick, 19-1, in the second half alone and finally broke through when Schmitt played a ball to Quinn, who one-touched it back to set up the decisive goal. Schmitt took the pass on the right flank and fired a low liner just inside the far post from 10 yards out.
Not satisfied, the Zips continued to press on and found the second goal when Reinaldo Brenes sprung Mattocks with a long pass from midfield. The Jamaican striker, who had slipped behind the Hawks' back four, tactfully pulled the keeper out of position with a quick run on the right side of the field before chipping a shot over his head and into the back left corner of the net. Akron earned free kicks from a couple of dangerous spots on the field in the first half but couldn't cash in as Scott Caldwell's first service was blocked and his second sailed high. UA's best opportunity to score in the opening period came in the 41st minute when Mattocks gathered a loose ball on the right side of the penalty area and fired a point-blank shot that was turned away by Munarriz. Mattocks ran wild all night with eight shots, including four on goal. Quinn and Schmitt were active as well with five and four shots, respectively.
The Zips will next head to Ann Arbor to face their NCAA semifinal opponent from a year ago, Michigan Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network as well as by 1350 AM (WARF).
Akron Men Down Penn State
AKRON, OH - October 12, 2011- The Nittany Lions had more roar than bite Wednesday night against the Zips as Akron won a 1-0 decision over Penn State with sophmore forward Darren Mattocks scoring the only goal twenty minutes into the first half.
Akron remains undefeated at home and betters their record to 8-1-2 as Penn State falls to 6-5-2.
“The important thing is that we got the result,” a disgruntled UA Head Coach Caleb Porter said after the match. “But it wasn’t good enough and it's not a performance we are happy with.”
Both teams had to quickly adapt to the elements as a light rain turned into a downpour at Cub Cadet Field at FirstEnergy Stadium. On several occasions Penn State came close to opening the scoring, including a header that nearly rolled into the goal.
It was Akron, however, that scored first at the 24:38 mark of the half. The Zips won a free kick on the left side of the box. Aodhan Quinn drilled a liner into the box that met with the head of Mattocks at the far post for his 11th goal of the year. That tally was Mattock’s fourth goal in three matches, including a pair last match against Northern Illinois.
“It‘s a goal scorer’s goal,” Mattocks said. “You have to do what it takes to score.”
After the goal he assembled his squad for a quick word and said that they need “to stay focus and stay sharp because Penn St was going to find a way back into the game.”
Akron would control most of the second half and lead 1-0 at the break with the rain stopping.
The second half would not get any easier for the Nittany Lions. After a tackle in the corner of the field, Lions Julian Cardona was shown a red card for an apparent stomp on Zips defender Bryan Gallego with 40:55 remaining in the match.
With that extra field open, the Zips controlled the tempo and Penn State rarely had a look at the net. Penn State took a late gamble and were rewarded with chances off corners and a long free kick by Penn State freshman goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton that nearly bounced into the net after Akron’s keeper David Meves missed the punch. The Zips defense was too much and held on to the 1-0 win.
“In the second half, we took our foot off the pedal,” Porter said. “We didn’t play to our standards and when we went up a man, we did not play with any killer instinct.”
The Zips continue their three game home stand with a MAC meeting with Hartwick on Saturday, October 15, 2011. The Zips are 2-0 in conference play with four MAC matches remaining.
Men's Soccer Shuts Out NIU
AKRON, OH - October 8, 2011 - Behind another multiple-goal performance from sophomore striker Darren Mattocks, the No. 3 University of Akron men's soccer team cruised to a 2-0 shutout victory over Northern Illinois Saturday at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
Mattocks found the net in the 16th minute and then again in the 32nd minute to lead the Zips (8-1-2, 2-0-0 Mid-American Conference), who limited NIU to just three shots all night. With the win, UA extended its NCAA-record home unbeaten streak to 44 games (41-0-3) while also running its conference undefeated streak to 33 contests, which is the fifth-longest run in NCAA history. In all, it was the third time Mattocks has scored more than one goal in a match this fall. The Jamaican native, who scored 18 goals in 25 contests a year ago, found the net twice in the season opener against Cleveland State then recorded the second hat trick of his career at Tulsa on Sept. 24.
UA dominated the Huskies (8-3-0, 0-2-0) from start to finish with a 13-3 advantage in shots, including a 6-1 margin on frame. Two of NIU's shots were from distance and sailed harmlessly wide in the first half. The third, which came late in the second half on a direct free kick, required a terrific save and clearance from preseason All-American David Meves, who made a number of great reads on NIU set pieces throughout the match.
The Zips took a 1-0 lead early on a restart opportunity of their own after DeAndre Yedlin was tackled from behind on the right flank about six yards out from the penalty area. Aodhan Quinn sent the subsequent free kick into the box where Mattocks crashed through and headed the ball into the back of the net. Mattocks then essentially put the game away with UA's second goal just 15 minutes later. From just past midfield, senior Luke Holmes slipped the ball to Mattocks, who had gotten behind the Huskies' back four and slammed the ball past Northern Illinois keeper Jordan Godsey, far post.
Akron's current three-game homestand continues next Wednesday night when Penn State pays visit to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. The Zips and Nittany Lions will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Akron Men's Soccer Suffers First Defeat at No. 19 Santa Barbara
SANTA BARBARA, CA - October 5, 2011 - The No. 3 University of Akron men's soccer team was handed its first loss of the season in a 3-2 overtime decision at No. 19 Santa Barbara Wednesday night at Harder Stadium on FOX Soccer Channel.
The Zips (7-1-2), who trailed for the first time all fall, rallied back from a 2-1 deficit midway through the second half only to surrender a golden goal to UCSB's Luis Silva – who found the net twice in the game – 33 seconds into the first overtime period. It was just UA's second loss during the regular run of play in its last 60 matches, dating back to the start of the 2009 season.
"We didn't sustain a high enough level on either side of the ball to deserve to win tonight," said UA head coach Caleb Porter. "We hadn't played that caliber of opponent in the season thus far and it showed, especially in our individual and collective defending. Santa Barbara played through us far too easily and we didn't show the grit and intensity that we needed."
UA sophomore Darren Mattocks netted his eighth goal of the season and junior Thomas Schmitt found the net for the second time in three matches in a losing effort for Akron.
"The most disappointing part was the way we started each period," Porter said. "We weren't sharp in the first half but still scored a goal and were in a good position, up 1-0. UCSB was more hungry in the second half and it showed when they leveled the game and then went up 2-1. We finally woke up and put together some of our best stuff to get back into the game. I really thought we were going to find the goal to win in regulation, but again we lost our edge in overtime and they capitalized."
The Gauchos (7-3-1) were in control early and had a few dangerous sequences, but two shots went wide, one hit the post and UA keeper David Meves, who finished with four saves on the night, came up with a pair of big stops of Silva and Michael David in the first 12 minutes of the contest. The tide turned quickly however and the Zips began gaining momentum, starting when Mattocks buzzed a shot off the cross bar in the 12th minute and continued when Aodhan Quinn banged the left post with a turn-and-fire from 17 yards just two minutes later. Akron kept pressing and finally broke through in the 15th minute when Wil Trapp slipped the ball to Mattocks, who lifted the ball from the left flank over UCSB keeper Andre Grandt and into the back right corner of the net.
The Zips, who pushed on, nearly went up 2-0 before the break but a goal by Luke Holmes was negated by an offsides call. As it was, Akron took a one-goal lead into the locker room at the half. UA's momentum did not carry over into the second half though, and Santa Barbara found the equalizer in the 64th minute when Silva finished a cross from Dom Sarle from 10 yards out. Akron then trailed for the first time all season just minutes later when Sarle cleaned up a volley in front of the net. But UCSB's lead didn't last long.
The Zips pulled even in the 69th minute when Quinn sent a beautiful cross from the left side to Schmitt, who buried it for his second goal of the season.
"UCSB is certainly a talented team and they exposed us at times when we weren't clicking," Porter said. "But I know this team has it in them to perform better. Maybe we needed this type of game as a bit of a rude awakening to realize we still have a ways to go in order to be a championship caliber team."
Akron, which had played six of its last nine games on the road, will next return to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field Saturday to start a three-game home stand against Mid-American Conference foe Northern Illinois. The Zips and Huskies will kick off at 7:30 p.m.
UA Men's Soccer Takes MAC Opener
KALAMAZOO, MI - October 1, 2011 - Newcomers Aodhan Quinn scored twice and Luke Holmes added a goal and an assist to lead the No. 4 University of Akron men's soccer team to a 3-0 victory at Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference opener for both schools Saturday.
The Zips, who remained unbeaten on the season with a 7-0-2 overall record, put away the Broncos (3-7-0) early with all three goals coming in the first 30 minutes of the match. With the win, UA extended its consecutive conference unbeaten streak to 32 games (30-0-2), which represents the sixth-longest run in NCAA history.
"I was very proud of this team for how sharp they were in the first half," said UA head coach Caleb Porter. "They came out with the right mentality and showed that physical and direct play does not win out. Some of the soccer they put together in that first half was special – especially on a slippery field and against a team that was clearly taking a negative approach to the game."
Akron, which has now scored nine goals in its last three contests, out-shot WMU 13-6 for the game, including a 9-1 margin in the first 45 minutes and a 9-3 advantage on frame. Holmes led the team in shots for the second straight contest with five attempts; all but one on frame. The Broncos were called for 20 fouls in the match and drew two cautions.
"To get the shutout and create so many attractive sequences leading to goals is a sign this team is starting to figure out the balance of playing soccer but also making sure it is effective in the end result," Porter added.
It was a career day for Quinn, who scored three goals in 22 matches as a freshman at Bradley. The sophomore from San Diego, Calif., got Akron on the board in the 14th minute by finishing a cross from Holmes. Then, less than five minutes later, Quinn buried a pass from Scott Caldwell to give the Zips a 2-0 lead. It was the first multiple-goal game of Quinn's career and the Zips' third mutiple-goal performance of the season.
Holmes, who also scored a goal and added an assist in his UA debut last Wednesday against Ohio State, then put the game out of reach in the 30th minute. Wil Trapp found Holmes with some space on the left flank and the senior transfer from Notre Dame College slipped the ball past the keeper far post.
Preseason All-American goalkeeper David Meves was credited with three saves while helping to ensure UA's sixth shutout in nine matches – covering more than 865 minutes – this fall.
The Zips will next head to the site of their 2010 national championship when they travel to UC Santa Barbara to face the Gauchos Wednesday night at 10:00 p.m. (ET) on FOX Soccer Channel.
"This team is really excited to square off against Santa Barbara Wednesday," Porter said. "I think you will see a confident group take the field with a lot of belief they have had in other road games this year."
Akron has just one loss during its last 30 (25-1-4) regular-season road and neutral site matches.