The UA Men's Soccer Insider

Akron Batters the Buckeyes

AKRON, OH - September 28, 2011- With their NCAA record 42-match unbeaten match on the line, The University of Akron men’s soccer team defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 3-1 Wednesday night in front of a record crowd of 5,819 at FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field.

Photo Credit: Robert Ivory“It was a very dominating performance overall,” Akron head coach Caleb Porter said. “I thought we had possession for most of the game and we are putting together nice sequences of buildup and we created chances. We just have to have more of a killer instinct in the final third.”

Akron moves to 6-0-2 on the year and Ohio State falls to 5-4-1.

Akron was the first team to score as they knocked in the opener at the 20:59 mark when defender DeAndre Yedlin scored off a loose ball for his first tally of the year. Yedlin beat the charging Ohio State goalie, Matt Lampson, down the right side and slid the ball in.

“Luckily I beat them down the line. I tried to cross it in, but got a good deflection and it went in,” Yedlin said.

The Zips continued to pressure Ohio State for their second, but the tough OSU defense held Akron to just the one goal at the half despite the continual possession by Akron. The Zips ended the half with four shots on goal to OSU’s none.

Yedlin would again come up big with under 25 minutes to go. Akron was unable to clear a ball in their own box, which set up a point-blank shot for Parnell Hegngi. Hegngi took the shot in the box, beat Akron’s keeper David Meves, but Yedlin was on the line to clear the ball.

“I think [clearing the ball off the line] was important,” Yedlin added. “It stopped their momentum and if they would have scored, who knows what would have happened.”

That would be key because Akron went down the field and after Lampson stopped a Luke Holmes shot, Thomas Schmitt knocked the rebound into the back of the net and Akron led comfortably 2-0 with 21 minutes to play.

Ohio State pulled within one with just 16:57 as Sebastian Rivas collected a nice lob pass and beat Meves, getting Akron’s attention.

Luke Holmes would put the game on ice with 8:32 left. Holmes controlled the ball outside the box after a pass from Wil Trapp, shot, hit the crossbar and the ball bounced in, giving Akron their sixth win of the year.           

“I think Luke gives us another dimension,” Porter said. “He brings energy to our team.”

The Zips head to the road for their next pair of matches (Western Michigan and UC Santa Barbara) before returning home for their first home MAC game on October 8 versus Northern Illinois.

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Golden Hurricane Nothing More than a Shower for Mattocks, Akron

TULSA, OK - September 24, 2011 - Sophomore striker Darren Mattocks recorded the second hat trick of his career to lead The No. 4 University of Akron men's soccer team to a 3-0 victory at Tulsa Saturday night at Hurricane Track and Soccer Stadium.

With the win, the Zips (5-0-2) remained unbeaten on the season and improved to 5-0 all-time against the Golden Hurricane. Mattocks, who last recorded three goals in a win against Buffalo last season, scored once in the first half and twice in the second to record his second multiple-goal performance of the year. He has now scored seven goals in six matches this fall.

The Golden Hurricane (4-4-0) recorded 18 shots – though many were from distance – and were dangerous on a number of occasions. But the tremendous play of UA center backs Chad Barson and Bryan Gallego neutralized a host of threats and – combined with a season-high seven saves from David Meves – ensured Akron's fifth shutout in seven matches.

UA struck quickly in the ninth minute. Aodhan Quinn won the ball just past midfield and skipped a pass to Mattocks, who had slipped behind the Tulsa back line, on the right flank. The Jamaican pulled the TU keeper Michael Murray out of position before lifting a shot across the box and into the top left corner of the net. Junior Thomas Schmitt had a great chance to give UA an early, two-goal cushion in the 18th minute but was unlucky when his liner from the near left flank rang the cross bar. It was one of many opportunities for the Zips in the first 45 minutes but they could not add to their lead and settled for a 1-0 advantage into the break.

Akron's persistence paid off in the 55th minute however when Mattocks found the net for the second time by finishing off a run by Wil Trapp. Trapp created space near the right goal post for Mattocks, who turned and fired a rocket across the goal and past the diving keeper. Mattocks then completed the hat trick in the 87th mintue, finishing a cross off the foot of Reinaldo Brenes.

Akron will return home to host Ohio State Wednesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. The Zips and Buckeyes will kick off at 7:30 p.m. 

Caldwell PK Wins One for UA

AKRON, OH - September 18, 2011 - The University of Akron men's soccer team landed a 1-0 victory over Cal Poly (3-2-2) in the final game of The University of Akron Tournament at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field Sunday night.

Photo Credit: Jeromi RogersScott Caldwell converted a penalty kick in the 83rd minute to win the match for the Zips (4-0-2). Aodhan Quinn set the play up with a brilliant pass to freshman DeAndre Yedlin, who dribbled into the box before being taken down from behind.

"Cal Poly today certainly gave us a test," UA Head Coach Caleb Porter stated in a postgame interview.

The first half was relatively quiet with neither side gaining an advantage. Cal Poly's physical style, which resulted in a total of 17 fouls, seemed to slow down a UA attack that was without Jamaican striker Darren Mattocks. Mattocks sat out the game after collecting a red card in Friday's match against New Mexico. Thomas Schmitt did his best to replace Akron's leading goalscorer, having a pair of opportunities that just couldn't be finished.

"That is one of the things we want to be, is an adaptable team that is tactically flexible," Porter continued.

George Malki had the Mustangs' best chance of the evening in the 40th as his shot ricocheted over the post and crossbar before heading out of danger. Unfortunately for the visitors, opportunities weren't plentiful as Cal Poly managed just seven shots on the evening. Akron's David Meves had a relatively easy night and managed three saves.

The Zips hit the road for their next match at Tulsa Saturday before facing Ohio State on September 28th. 

UA and New Mexico Play to a Controversial Draw

AKRON, OH - September 16, 2011 - The No. 4 University of Akron men's soccer team (3-0-2) earned a 1-1 draw against No. 16 New Mexico (4-0-2) at FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field Friday night in front of 4,301 fans. It was a rollercoaster of a match for two teams that brought unbeaten records into the University of Akron Tournament. 

The match started out very one sided for the first  few minutes with Sierra Leone striker James Rogers making his mark all over the pitch for the Lobos. Rogers became even more dangerous when paired with Devon Sandoval.  Caleb Porter and the Akron defense made some adjustments to contain the New Mexico attack as the back four seemed to keep bending, but never broke. Rogers was all over the pitch, playing more behind Sandoval rather than beside him up top.

There wasn’t much in the first few minutes of the game, but then in the 9th minute Akron got away with a complete breakdown. Defender Chad Barson made a backpass to his goalkeeper David Meves, who tried to clear the ball. Instead of providing clearance, it was deflected off Sandoval. Akron miraculously came away with the clearance and New Mexico was given their first corner kick of the match. 

Akron, with its “death by a thousand passes” style of play, took control of the match after a rough opening ten minutes. Most of the attack was down the right side and always seemed to go through Akron defender DeAndre Yedlin. Yedlin played more of a right wing back rather than a traditional right back.

In the 20th minute Yedlin had a beautiful cross from the right that Akron striker Darren Mattocks could not get a head on. Mattocks’ Jamaican flavor was all over the pitch, but never seemed to be able to get a call his way. New Mexico and their high backline kept Mattocks in check and cause him to get called offsides quite a bit. Mattocks had a nice shot in the 27th that went into the back of the net, but Mattocks called offsides once again and the goal was quickly called back.

Although Akron held most of the possession after the 9th minute, James Rogers of New Mexico was still all over the pitch and causing the Akron defense fits. That all changed in the 32nd minute when he was subbed off. The New Mexico attack seemed to disappear when Rogers came off the pitch, which helped the Zips attack.

Akron midfielder Michael Balogun would land a header off the post and past the Lobos keeper in the 36th with Scott Caldwell and Aodhan Quinn getting credit for setting the entire play up. The match was still mostly in Akron’s possession as the first half came to an end with Akron up 1-0 thanks to Balogun’s goal.

The second half would come with a lot of controversy. Referee Chris Penso awarded the first of many cards in the 51st minute as Akron goalkeeper David Meves was cautioned for delaying the game.

In the next few minutes there were a lot of scuffles on the pitch between the New Mexico attackers and the Akron defenders. Rogers and Sandoval of New Mexico were again causing problems in the Akron back four and it looked as if New Mexico came out the second half with the idea of playing a little harder and dirtier.

In the 54th minute there was a scuffle between Sandoval and Balogun. The scuffle led to both players receiving yellow cards.
Not more than three minutes later the biggest call of the match came. Darren Mattocks seemed to get into a pushing match with New Mexico goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez. It led to Mattocks taking a half swing at Rodriguez.  Penso went straight to Mattocks and pulled a straight red card, then gave the New Mexico goalkeeper the free kick.

Although a man down, Akron’s defense still held strong. The Zips held a lot of possession and kept attacking. In the 78th minute Akron had four shots on goal in less than ten seconds.

Then around the 80th minute New Mexico would finally break through the Akron back four. Kyle Venter came up with his second straight late match-tying goal to things even at 1-1. The match from there would be played mostly in the midfield except for the last few moments.

New Mexico kept pushing to trying and get that late winner, but was unable to put the game away. At the end of regular time the score was Akron 1, New Mexico 1. Being a tournament match, it would go to overtime with the golden boot rule in force.

The game would quickly go to double overtime, where possession was the name of the game and  the match eventually ended in a 1-1 draw.

The match was a national broadcast for Fox Soccer Channel, bringing notoriety and positive publicity to the university and its unique supporters group, the AK Rowdies. The Rowdies are currently led by their president, Brandon Ferguson. 

“I think it does our school and us as a group a lot of good,” Ferguson stated. “There are a lot of other schools that are starting to have supporter-style groups come into the college game and a lot of them look at us as an example.”

Akron won’t have much time to recover as they host the always tough Cal Poly Sunday at 6 pm.

Akron Dominates St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO - September 10, 2011 -  The No. 4 University of Akron men's soccer team stayed unbeaten on the season with a commanding 4-0 victory over Saint Louis Saturday night at Hermann Stadium.

UA, which improved to 3-0-1 on the year, dominated possession throughout the contest and owned a 21-4 advantage in shots - including a 13-2 margin on frame - over the Billikens (1-3-0), who upset No. 10 Notre Dame, 2-1, last weekend.

Junior midfielder ScottCaldwell led the way with a highlight-reel worthy goal in the second half to go with two assists as Akron won for the first time in five all-time appearances at Saint Louis.

Senior Matt Dagilis,who earned his first start in more than a year, netted the game-winner with a header in the first half while Jamaican strikers DarrenMattocks and Akeil Barrett added to the tally in the second stanza.

The Zips took a 1-0 lead with a set-piece goal in the 21st minute. Following a run by DeAndre Yedlin down the right side of the field, Aodhan Quinnsent the resulting corner kick into the box where Dagilis punched the ball into the back of the net from six yards out.

It was the second career game-winner for the Akron native and first goal since his freshman year of 2008. Dagilis nearly made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute on another UA corner kick, but this time his diving header sailed just wide of the left post.

The Zips had another prime chance to score just before the end of the half when Mattocks split a pair of defenders and fired from straight on but Billikens' keeper Mark Pais, who finished with nine saves, was there to turn it away.

Akron, which out-shot SLU 14-1 after the intermission, was rewarded for its persistence in the second half early and often.

Mattocks started the scoring in the 59th minute when he took a Caldwell pass and slotted the keeper from the top of the box. It was Mattocks' team-leading fourth goal of the season.

Saint Louis continued to push numbers forward in an attempt to cut into the lead but was punished late when Akron scored back-to-back goals in the span of 51 seconds.

After assisting Mattocks' goal, Caldwell decided to help himself with a rocket beautiful strike from distance that tucked into the upper right corner of the net. Then, just seconds later, Caldwell slipped a ball to Barrett on the right side of the box for the final goal of the evening.

After playing the last three games on the road, Akron will return home to host The University of Akron Tournament next weekend. The Zips will face New Mexico Friday at 7 p.m. in a match that will be broadcast on FOXSoccer Channel and then Cal Poly on Sunday at 6 p.m. 

Caldwell's Golden Goal Pushes Zips Past Cal State Northridge

NORTHRIDGE, CA - September 3, 2011 - Scott Caldwell's golden goal in the 106th minute lifted The No. 2 University of Akron men's soccer team to a 2-1, double overtime victory over Cal State Northridge Saturday night at Matador Soccer Field.

Caldwell took a DeAndre Yedlin cross from the right side of the field and buried the ball past Northridge keeper Michael Abalos, who finished with 12 saves, at the 105:43 mark. It was the junior midfielder's second goal of the season and third game-winner of his career. Caldwell's late heroics were almost unnecessary as the Zips (2-0-1) held on to a 1-0 lead with less than 10 minutes left in regulation.

But the Matadors (1-2-0) received a shorthanded, counter attack goal from Yarden Azulay in the 82nd minute to force overtime. Freshman Wil Trapp had his shot from straight away blocked following an Akron corner kick to set up the improbable goal. Azulay quickly collected the rebound and found himself one-on-one with UA goalkeeper David Meves, who had no chance stopping a lob shot from the top of the penalty area. It was the only shot on goal for the game for Northridge, which Akron out-shot 24-8 overall and 14-1 on frame.

"Credit to Northridge, they fought hard and didn't die," said UA head coach Caleb Porter, who won his 92nd career match Saturday. "But I thought our guys dug deep as well. We're a young group and there are a lot of guys still struggling to find themselves. Our overall personality of the team is still taking shape. But we made good progress tonight. I was proud of them for finding a way to win the game."

The game began with a similar physical style of play as Thursday's draw with Cal State Fullerton as CSUN was called for seven fouls and drew three yellow cards in the first 13 minutes of the match.

But the things changed dramatically when Matadors' center back Nicholas Hamilton tackled Darren Mattocks from behind and was shown his second yellow in the 18th minute – forcing CSUN to play the rest of the match a man down. The Zips, who had began to dictate play well before the second caution, punished Northridge in the 25th minute when Caldwell found Mattocks, who slipped the ball just inside the right post for his third goal in three games this fall.

Akron pushed on in the second half and created a number of scoring chances – out-shooting CSUN, 10-3 – but couldn't find a second goal. The Zips were particularly dangerous late in regulation but Abalos, who recorded four saves during a 10-minute stretch, was spectacular at times to turn UA away. Abalos' clutch play proved to be crucial as the Matadors pulled even at the 81:18 mark and further gained momentum when Zips' freshman defender Bryan Gallego was shown his second yellow card just minutes later for grabbing a Matadors' attacker on a breakaway.

But Akron was resilient and took back control shortly after in overtime with a number of scoring chances – including Abalos' point-blank save of Thomas Schmitt in the 92nd minute – before winning the game. 

Akron Men's Soccer Draws Cal State Fullerton, 0-0, at Labor Day Classic

NORTHRIDGE, CA - September 1, 2011 - The No. 2 University of Akron men's soccer team played Cal State Fullerton to a 0-0 draw Thursday in the opening match of the Cal State Northridge Labor Day Classic at Matador Soccer Field.

Despite a 10-2 advantage in shots, including a 6-1 margin on frame, in the first half alone, UA (1-0-1) was a little unlucky and had a hard time adjusting to the physical bullying by Cal State Fullerton (1-0-1), which recorded 28 fouls (to Akron's seven) and five yellow cards.

"We're not going to make excuses; we didn't play our best game today," said UA head coach Caleb Porter. "But clearly, Fullerton's game plan was to chop the game up with fouls and be physical and not allow us to get into a rhythm.

"We could be disappointed with the way the game was officiated, but the bottom line is we didn't handle (the physical play) very well. To me, we looked like a young team that wasn't ready to deal with a physical team that came to play. Fullerton wanted to rattle us and, in some ways, it worked. We have to do better next time."

The goalkeepers for both teams stood out for their performance. Akron's David Meves made four saves, incaluding a pair of highlight-reel worthy stops, as well as made great reads on balls in the box while Fullerton's Trevor Whiddon finished the game with nine stops.

Ironically, Whiddon was not involved in the Zips' best opportunity to score however, when a Fullerton defender cleared the ball off the line in the 29th minute. Following a Zips' free kick from 40 yards out, Tommy Schmitt, who earned his first career start, gained control on the left side near the touch line and served the ball into the box. Scott Caldwell, who finished with a career-high seven shots, was there to receive it and headed it towards an open net only to be denied.

If the Zips were unlucky in the first half, they were lucky to start the second when a long-ranged shot by Fullerton's Roberto Vernaschi rang the left post following a Titans' free kick.

The remainder of play was fairly even with both teams earning chances, but neither could get into a rhythm due in large part to the sizable number of stoppages. For the game, the Zips out-shot the Titans 20-14 overall and 10-4 on frame.

UA's best opportunity to score in overtime came in the first stanza during a three-minute stretch that saw shots by Darren Mattocks and Caldwell result in Whiddon saves and a third shot by Wil Trapp, who had a good look from straight on, sail high. 

Akron will have an off day before returning to Matador Soccer Stadium Saturday to take on host Cal State Northridge at 10 p.m. (ET) Live stats and an audio stream will be available on GoMatadors.com.

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