The UA Women's Soccer Insider

Akron Women’s Soccer Releases 2012 Schedule

AKRON, OH - April 17, 2012 - Eight matches at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field and an away date at Michigan State highlight the 2012 Akron women’s soccer schedule, fifth-year head coach Chris Pfau announced on Tuesday. Season tickets for the 2012 season are on sale now.

The Zips will play five Mid-American Conference contests on its home pitch, including an Oct. 7 meeting with rival Kent State as part of the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge.

Also on the 2012 slate is a pair of games at the University of Tennessee Tournament, where the Zips will play Virginia Commonwealth and William & Mary. Women’s soccer season tickets are just $40, and are available for a $20 add-on for men’s soccer season ticketholders. Season tickets can be purchased online at www.GoZips.com/tickets, by calling 1-888-99-AKRON (25766), or at the C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office. The ticket office is open Monday-Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. All season ticket holders will receive a complimentary Akron Soccer scarf – one per season ticker purchased while supplies last.

“This is a very good schedule that will challenge us early and have us prepared for the MAC season,” Pfau said. “William & Mary was a nationally ranked team last fall and playing them will allow us to see where we stand early in the season.”

UA will host Morehead State in the season opener on Aug. 17. Akron is 2-1-0 all-time against the Eagles, but dropped the last meeting 3-1 in 2010. The matches against VCU and William & Mary will be played Aug. 24 and 26, respectively, in Knoxville, Tenn. It will be the first meeting between UA and VCU, while William & Mary was a 6-0 winner over Akron in 2008. The Tribe were ranked as high as No. 14 last season and lost to North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Akron will tangle with Michigan State for the second straight season on Sept. 2. The Spartans were 5-0 winners in Akron in 2011. UA’s last away meeting with a Big Ten school resulted in a 1-0 victory over Michigan to open last season.

“We are excited to play Michigan State again this year after playing them last fall,” Pfau commented. “It will be another early test for us, especially playing at their place.”

The Zips travel to local rival Cleveland State on Sept. 7 and host Canisius on Sept. 9. Akron is unbeaten against both schools, and defeated Canisius 3-0 in the inaugural match at the renovated Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field in 2010. Akron’s final non-conference test is a home match-up with Marshall on Sept. 16. The Zips are 3-1-1 all-time against the Thundering Herd and the two squads will be playing for the first time since 2006, when Marshall was a member of the MAC.

UA opens its MAC schedule with games at Miami (Ohio) and Ball State on Sept. 21 and 23, respectively. UA has lost the last two meetings with the RedHawks and will play at Ball State for the second season in a row. Home matches with Northern Illinois (Sept. 28) and defending MAC Champion Toledo (Sept. 30) round out the month of September. Akron downed NIU 1-0 in DeKalb last season and earned a 2-2 draw at Toledo.

The Zips will split the next weekend, traveling to Ohio on Oct. 5 and playing rival Kent State at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field on Oct. 7. UA clinched its spot in the 2011 MAC Tournament with a thrilling 1-0 overtime win over the Bobcats in last season’s regular-season finale and are looking to avenge a 2-0 loss to the Golden Flashes in its last meeting.

Coach Pfau’s club travels to Central Michigan and Bowling Green on Oct. 12 and 14. The Zips and Chippewas tied, 0-0, in the 2011 regular season, but CMU was a 2-1 winner in the first round of the MAC Tournament in Mt. Pleasant. UA is 2-0-1 in its last three meetings with BGSU. Akron’s final home matches of the regular season take place on Oct. 19 against Western Michigan and on Oct. 21 versus Eastern Michigan. The Friday night match against the Broncos will be Senior Night for the program. Akron took down Eastern Michigan 3-0 last season at First Energy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

The 2012 regular season wraps up on Thursday, Oct. 25 with a road game at Buffalo. Akron is 7-4-0 all-time against the Bulls, but lost 1-0 at UB Stadium in 2011.

“We had our best results ever against the MAC West Division last season, but didn’t do as well against the East as we had in previous years,” Pfau said. “We have proved we can play with everyone in the conference, and this season will be about doing it on a consistent basis. Every weekend is going to be a tough battle.”

2012 Akron Women’s Soccer Schedule:
Sun., Aug. 5 – Duquesne (exhibition)
Fri., Aug. 10 – at West Virginia (exhibition)
Fri., Aug. 17 – Morehead State
Fri., Aug. 24 – vs. VCU (University of Tennessee Tournament)
Sun., Aug. 26 – vs. William & Mary (University of Tennessee Tournament)
Sun., Sept. 2 – at Michigan State
Fri., Sept. 7 – at Cleveland State
Sun., Sept. 9 – Canisius
Sun., Sept. 16 – Marshall
Fri., Sept 21 – at Miami (Ohio)
Sun., Sept. 23 – at Ball State
Fri., Sept. 28 – Northern Illinois
Sun., Sept. 30 – Toledo
Fri., Oct. 5 – at Ohio
Sun., Oct. 7 – Kent State (PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge)
Fri., Oct. 12 – at Central Michigan
Sun., Oct. 14 – at Bowling Green
Fri., Oct. 19 – Western Michigan
Sun. Oct. 21 – Eastern Michigan
Thurs., Oct. 25 – at Buffalo

UA Women’s Soccer Opens Spring Season with 1-1 Tie at West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, WV - March 1, 2012 - The University of Akron women's soccer team opened its spring season by earning a 1-1 draw at West Virginia Saturday.

Katie Wise was the goal scorer for the Zips, cashing in early in the second half. Kelly DeNiro assisted the goal.

West Virginia – the back-to-back Big East Champions – leveled the score 10 minutes later.

"This is a great result for us against a very strong WVU team," Akron coach Chris Pfau said. "They have had great success in their league and on a national scale in recent years, and this effort shows that we can compete with the best."

All members of the Akron side saw action during the exhibition.

The Zips will play four more exhibition matches this spring, all in Akron:

Saturday, March 24 vs. Ohio Dominican & Canisius
Saturday, March 31 vs. Ashland
Sunday, April 15 vs. Cambridge Utd. (Canadian club team)
Saturday, April 21 vs. Valparaiso

Akron Hires Vernon Croft as Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach

AKRON, OH - February 13, 2011 - Former Indiana State head coach and University of Miami (Fla.) assistant Vernon Croft has joined The University of Akron women’s soccer coaching staff, head coach Chris Pfau announced today. Croft will assist in all aspects of the program, including the training of the goalkeepers and other team members.

“I am very excited about the hire of Vernon Croft,” Pfau said. “I have great respect for him as a coach. To have someone on staff with his background as a 10-year Division I head coach and assistant with the University of Miami (Fla.) will not only push our program and players but also our coaching staff. He will be working with the keepers but also will have valuable input with all aspects of our training and soccer program.”

“Vernon will bring a wealth of knowledge and a great vision of the game,” Pfau continued. “He also cares immensely about the student-athlete experience, something we pride ourselves on here at The University of Akron.”

Photo Credit: UA AthleticsMost recently, Croft spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Miami (Fla.) where he was the recruiting coordinator and coached the goalkeepers and attacking players. Eight of the Hurricane’s 11 starters in 2011 were a part of the two recruiting classes coordinated by Croft.

Prior to his stint at Miami, Croft spent ten seasons as the head coach at Indiana State after starting the women’s soccer program in 1999. He is the Sycamores all-time winningest coach, and led ISU to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship in 2008. Croft was also named the MVC Coach of the Year in 2004. Croft coached 15 all-conference performers, one MVC Freshman of the Year and eight MVC All-Tournament honorees while in Terre Haute. His teams were honored nine consecutive times with NSCAA Team Academic Awards, including a #1 team academic ranking in 2004.

Croft spent four years as an assistant with the Missouri State women’s soccer program helping them develop a program from infancy with their first season in 1996. In addition, he was the men’s goalkeeper coach at Missouri State for three years. He previously spent two years each as the assistant women’s soccer coach at Widener University and the graduate assistant men’s coach at Lynchburg College.

Croft received a bachelor of arts from Lynchburg in 1994 and a master’s of education from Widener in 1996. He hold a USSF National A License. 

UA Women’s Soccer Announces Star-Studded Signing Class

AKRON, OH - February 6, 2012 - The University of Akron women’s soccer team will welcome 10 new student-athletes to the program next fall, having already added a transfer student-athlete this spring, head coach Chris Pfau announced Friday. The group includes eight in-state recruits – seven from Northeast Ohio - and one athlete from California, Illinois and Minnesota.

The class consists of four defenders, three goalkeepers, two midfielders, two forward/midfielders, and one defender/midfielder. Many of the players come to Akron after receiving high honors at both the club and high school level. Several have Olympic Development Program (ODP) regional and interregional experience, as well as national pool selections. The class features talent from some of the top clubs in the country including Eclipse (IL), Ohio Premier Eagles, Cleveland Internationals, and Minnesota Thunder.

On the high school level, the group has ESPN RISE National Player of the Week award winners, ESPN RISE National Champions, and state champions. “This is a great incoming class. Our staff has worked particularly hard in bringing this class together,” Pfau commented. “Each year we try to add quality student-athletes to our roster, and this year is no exception. Some of these incoming players have played at the highest levels, having received national and regional Olympic Development Program recognition and selections for All-American awards.”

The group joins a program on the rise. Akron has qualified for the Mid-American Conference Tournament in each of the last three seasons – something UA failed to do in its previous eight seasons since becoming a varsity sport in 2001. In 2009, UA won their division and were crowned MAC East champions. In 2010, UA lost a close tie to Miami in the first round of the MAC Tournament. Last year, UA met Central Michigan in the first round of the 2011 MAC Tournament and went down 2-1.

“It will be exciting to see how this class blends with our returners,” Pfau said. This class will add speed, athleticism, and skill to an already experienced team in the fall. Furthermore, these incoming players know what it takes to compete for championships by virtue of playing for top level clubs, which will only help us reach our goals this fall.” 

The class includes the following: GK Klaire Adee (Rockford, IL), D Katie George (Middleburg Heights, OH), GK Caitlin Jakubek (Akron, OH), MF Madison Kaser (Silver Lake, OH), GK Alegra Kastens (Orange, CA), D/MF Holly Ohradzansky (Avon, OH), F/MF Sydney Perez (Warren, OH), D Amelia Robinson (Dublin, OH), F/MF Megan Waskowski (Strongsville, OH), MF Hannah Werth (Bloomington, MN), and D Kaylie West (Copley, OH).

Photos Courtesy of Eclipse SelectWest is a transfer from Ashland University, where she saw action in 16 games with 7 starts during her freshman season. “Kaylie is a good strong player who will continue to develop," Pfau added. "She is very driven and has a great desire to get better.” 

Adee is the most highly ranked among the freshman and should challenge for the starting keeper job immediately. “Klaire is a very talented, athletic keeper who has played at every level of soccer," Pfau continued. "Her club team is regionally ranked no. 3, and she is very used to playing in big games.”

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