The UA Men's Soccer Insider

UA Men's Soccer Tops BG in MAC Opener

BOWLING GREEN, OH - September 22, 2012 - The No. 10 University of Akron men's soccer team earned its third straight shutout in a 2-0 win over Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference opener for both schools Saturday night at Cochrane Field.

With the victory, the Zips (5-1-2, 1-0-0 MAC) moved into sole possession of third place on the NCAA's list for the longest conference unbeaten streak. Akron, which started the day tied with Indiana (1995-2000), has now gone 39 straight league matches without a loss, dating back to the 2007 season.

Akron was on the attack throughout the match, posting a 30-10 advantage in shots, including a 14-3 edge in the first half alone. With the loss, the Falcons fell to 2-4-2.

The Zips wasted little time jumping on Bowling Green with a goal in the 18th minute. Alfred Koroma, who had just entered the game, took a short pass from Dillon Serna and buried a shot from just outside the box. It was the second goal of the season for the true freshman, who had missed the previous two matches with a leg injury.

Akron added to its lead just two minutes later when Scott Caldwell created some space just inside the penalty area and fired across the goal into the back left corner of the net from straight on. It was the team-leading fifth goal of the season for Caldwell, who scored twice in the Zips' last match against South Florida last weekend.

The Falcons tried to catch up early in the second half, earning four corner kicks and as many shots in the first 12 minutes following the break. But the Zips were up to the task and quickly regained control of the match.

Akron had a number of chances to strengthen its lead – earning 10 shots on goal – but couldn't convert. Nonetheless, it was a dominating effort for the Blue and Gold, which improved to 41-2-3 against the MAC under seventh-year head coach Caleb Porter.

Eric Stevenson finished with a career-high nine shots for the match. Caldwell earned seven shots, while Serna had five.

Reigning MAC Player of the Week, David Meves finished the night with six saves – though many of BGSU's shots were from distance – to earn the 43rd shutout of his career. He now trails the school's all-time leader Evan Bush, who recorded 48 by just five. 

The Zips will continue MAC play next weekend when they host Buffalo Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

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Porter's Zips Dominate South Florida

AKRON, OH - September 16, 2012 - The No. 9 University of Akron men's soccer team scored four times in the second half to finish off a 5-0 shoutout of No. 11 South Florida Sunday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

With the victory, the Zips (4-1-2), who earned a 1-all draw against No. 10 St. John's Friday, were named winners of The University of Akron Tournament. The Bulls, who were ranked No. 2 in the country in last week's rankings, fell to 4-2-1 on the year.

Scott Caldwell, who fueled UA with two goals against the USF, was named the tournament's Offensive MVP while teammate David Meves, who helped the club record its second-consecutive shutout, garnered Defensive MVP honors.

Eric Stevenson, Dillon Serna, Chad Barson and Aodhan Quinn represented the Zips on the All-Tournament Team.

Akron took control from the start of the match and never let up, out-shooting South Florida 18-6, including a 9-3 advantage on goal. Also finding the net for the Zips were Serna, who scored the first goal of his young career, Stevenson, who is now tied with Caldwell for the team lead with three goals, and Quinn.

The Zips took a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute when Quinn chipped a ball into the box. When a USF defender tried to clear it with a header, Caldwell jumped on the rebound and one-timed it into the back of the net.

A series a passes and a strong finish resulted in another Akron goal in the 56th minute. Freshman Phil Fives, who made his first start of the season at left back, whipped the ball across the goal to Reinaldo Brenes, who crossed it to Serna in the middle of the box. Serna slotted the keeper from 15 yards out to make it 2-0.

Three more goals would follow in a flurry as Stevenson finished a rebounded shot by Robbie Derschang in the 62nd minute, Caldwell converted a penalty kick in the 79th minute and Quinn capped off the scoring in the 86th minute with an unassisted goal. Meves, who also had a strong performance against the Red Storm Friday, was up to the task again Sunday with three saves.

The win finished off an extremely challenging stretch of games that saw the Zips face six straight opponents currently ranked in the NSCAA top 25. Akron will next open up Mid-American Conference play next weekend at Bowling Green. The Zips and Falcons will kick off at 7 p.m., next Saturday.

Red Storm, Zips Finish with Draw in UA Tourney

AKRON, OH - September 14, 2012 - The University of Akron men's soccer team was held scoreless by #10 ranked St. John's despite playing an incredible 110 minutes of soccer.

Both sides could claim having legitimate scoring opportunities with the edge going to Akron in the number of quality chances.

"I thought we did a pretty good job of breaking their pressure overall," Akron head coach Caleb Porter stated. "We were the dominant team for most of the game."

St. John's was able to stick with the attacking style of Caleb Porter's side, using physicality and superb goalkeeping from Rafael Diaz. The Rockaway, NJ native was lights out in goal for the Red Storm, finishing the night with 4 saves.

Photo Credit: Gary L. Moody Sr./ISNSoccer.comDeAndre Yedlin, a Seattle Sounders Academy product, was a key cog in the Zips attack as he moved constantly forward from the backline to create opportunities for others. Yedlin set up a potential gamewinner in the 85th as his cross just missed the head of Reinaldo Brenes. This was clearly Akron's best opportunity of the night even though Scott Caldwell and Eric Stevenson had earlier chances of their own denied by Diaz.

Brenes was a late addition as blue chip freshman Alfred Koroma remained hospitalized with a staph infection. Missing the Southlake, TX native was a key reason for the lack of quality finishing from Akron.

"I think we were missing Alfred a little bit," Porter stated. "He gives us that gamechanger."

Akron held an advantage on corner kicks (6 to 4) and shots (9 to 7). The match was very physical with a total of 29 fouls.

Akron, which came into the game ranked #9 nationally, now has a 3-1-2 record and will finish out their tournament on Sunday night against South Florida.

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The Luck of the Irish Stuns Akron

SOUTH BEND, IN - September 9, 2012 - The No. 6 University of Akron men's soccer team, which played a man down for more than 60 minutes, suffered its first defeat of the year in a 3-1 setback at No. 17 Notre Dame Sunday in the final match of the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament.

The Zips (3-1-1) were leading 1-0 when Aodhan Quinn was shown a straight red card in the 30th minute. Notre Dame (5-0-0) scored three goals – two coming off restarts and another on a penalty kick – in the second half to remain perfect on the year.

With Friday's 1-0 victory over No. 10 Indiana, UA finished second in the tournament. Chad Barson, Scott Caldwell and Dillon Serna were named to the All-Tournament Team.

UA got off to a fast start, scoring the first goal of the match in just the fourth minute. After a strong run by Eric Stevenson, Alfred Koroma crossed the ball to Caldwell, who finished near the top of the box to give UA a 1-0 lead.

The Zips looked especially sharp early on and started to dominate play with their possession but the red card changed the complexion of the match. The Irish found the equalizer in the 49th minute following a corner kick. After the initial service, Patrick Hodan sent a lob into the box where Leon Brown redirected it into the net for his first goal of the season.

An Akron foul set up a Notre Dame free kick just outside of the box in the 64th minute. Dillon Powers whipped a shot past the Zips' wall of defenders and into the right side of the net on the direct shot.

The Irish, which out-shot the Zips 22-13 for the match, added the final tally of the contest in the 79th minute when Ryan Finley finished a penalty kick after Serna was called for a foul in the box.

After playing their last four matches on the road, the Zips will return to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field next weekend to play host to The University of Akron Tournament. UA will host St. John's Friday night at 7 p.m. ET on FOX Soccer Channel and South Florida Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

IU Falls to Akron Men

SOUTH BEND, IN - September 7, 2012 - The No. 6 University of Akron men's soccer team stayed unbeaten on the season after earning a 1-0 victory over No. 10 Indiana Friday night in the first game of the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament at Alumni Stadium.

Midfielder Eric Stevenson netted the game-winner in the 19th minute for the Zips, who improved to 3-0-1 on the year, and goalkeeper David Meves turned in perhaps his best performance on the season with four saves, including a pair of big stops in the second half.

With the victory, Akron claimed its third straight win against the Hoosiers (3-1-1), which suffered its first defeat of 2012, and improved to 3-1-1 against IU under seventh-year head coach Caleb Porter. The road-warrior Zips have been defeated just four times in their last 41 (31-4-6) regular-season road matches dating back to the 2008 season.

It was a dominant first half for UA, which out-shot Indiana, 7-5, and earned a 5-1 advantage for corner kicks. But the stats didn't tell the whole story as Akron was on the ball for the majority of the first 45 minutes, which was played mostly in Indiana's backfield.

DeAndre Yedlin created the Zips' first scoring chance early on by blowing through a trio of IU defenders and leaving the ball for Thomas Schmitt, whose shot was smothered by Indiana goalkeeper Luis Soffner. It was the first of seven saves on the night for senior netminder.

The Zips broke through minutes later however when Dillon Serna shook his mark in the left flank and cross the ball to Stevenson, who tucked his shot just inside the far right post from straight on. It was the second goal and game-winner of the season for Stevenson, who also opened the scoring in Akron's 4-0 win against Florida Gulf Coast on opening day. 

Yedlin nearly gave UA a 2-0 lead in the 41st minute with a rip from the top of the box that was headed for the upper right 90. But Soffner soared to his left to punch away the would-be goal.

UA survived a scare just before halftime when a turnover left Nikita Kotlov with space in front of the net. But the junior's shot banged off the right post and out of harm's way.

Indiana was more formidable in the second half but the Zips – led by a pair of great saves by Meves – were up to the task. In both cases, Meves turned away shots from Indiana's Eriq Zavaleta.

The first came in the 54th minute when Zavaleta intercepted a Zips' clearance and fired a shot from eight yards out that Meves punched over the net. Five minutes later, Meves got down to smother a low liner by Zavaleta to preserve Akron's lead.

For the match, Akron out-shot Indiana, 15-11, including an 8-4 edge on-frame. The Zips also posted a 9-7 edge in corner kicks.

UA will conclude play at the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament Sunday when it takes on host No. 17 Notre Dame. Kick off is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. ET.

Zips Finish Off Cougars

OMAHA, NE - September 2, 2012 - The No. 7 University of Akron men's soccer team scored a pair of goals early and held on late in a 2-1 victory over SIU Edwardsville Sunday aftternoon at Morrison Stadium as part of the Ameritas Classic.

With the win, the Zips, who dominated possession throughout the match, improved 2-0-1 on the season while earning their first victory ever against the Cougars in 14 all-time meetings.

For the contest, UA out-shot SIUE 14-4 overall, including a 5-3 margin on-goal, and recorded eight corner kicks while limiting the Cougars to none. It was the first loss of the young season for SIUE, which fell to 3-1-0.

Akron received scoring contributions from a pair of unlikely candidates as Chad Barson and Bryan Gallego each found the net on well-executed corner kick opportunities in the first half.

The first came in the 16th minute following a strong run by Robbie Derschang, who played the ball off an SIUE defender near the end line.

Scott Caldwell sent in the ensuing service that found the head of Chad Barson, who flicked it home from six yards out. It was the fourth goal of the senior's career and first since 2010.

Gallego delivered in the final minute of the half, following the Zips' sixth corner kick of the game. Dillon Serna, who sent the ball in from the right corner, found the sophomore unmarked near the back post. Gallego made the Cougars pay by heading in the first goal of his Akron career.

SIUE, which knocked off No. 19 James Madison last weekend and Rutgers – which received votes for the NSCAA Top 25 – Friday night, didn't go down without a fight however and pulled within one goal in the 75th minute on a breakaway goal by Christian Volesky.

But that's as close as the Cougars would get as Akron finished off the match.

The Zips' 2-0 lead at halftime was indicative of the way they dominated play in the first half with a 10-1 advantage on shots. In fact, SIUE didn't attempt its first shot – a two-bouncer from distance that was easily saved by Zips' goalkeeper David Meves – until the 41st minute.

The second half was much closer as Akron edged out SIUE in shots, 4-3, in the final 45 minutes. Following the match, Gallego, Alfred Koroma – who scored the equalizer in Friday night's 1-1 draw against No. 2 Creighton, and Eric Stevenson were named to the Ameritas Classic All-Tournament Team.

The Zips will continue their four-game road swing next weekend when they head to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Tournament. UA will take on No. 10 Indiana Friday (Sept. 7) at 5 p.m. ET, and the host Fighting Irish Sunday (Sept. 9) at 2:15 p.m. ET.

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