Phillip Scores in Overtime to Send Zips to MAC Tournament
AKRON, OH - October 27, 2011 - Rachel Phillip’s 95th minute goal vaulted The University of Akron women’s soccer team to a thrilling 1-0 win over Ohio on Thursday at a rain-soaked FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. The win sends Akron (7-8-2, 4-5-2 Mid-American Conference) into the MAC Tournament as the No. 7 seed and the Zips will travel to Central Michigan for the quarterfinal round Sunday. Kickoff in Mt. Pleasant is set for 1:00 p.m.
After putting together dangerous chances all afternoon long, Akron finally broke the scoreless tie in the 95th minute. Sophomore Maggie Rusnak found herself in tons of space in the center of the pitch and moved undefended into the Akron attacking half. Rusnak then fed a perfect pass to Phillip whose run in between OU’s two center backs was timed perfectly. Phillip beat Liston has she charged out, pouring the Akron bench onto the field for the celebration. It was the fourth goal of the season for Phillip and her second game-winner. The Zips held a 13-7 advantage in shots in the match and controlled the pace of play for much of the day. Phillip led the way with three shots on goal, while Kelly DeNiro and Ashley Hughes also fired three shots each.
Jeny Wolbert made three saves in net to claim her seventh clean sheet of the season. Wolbert is now tied for the most shutouts in a season by an Akron netminder. The Zips held the possession in the match’s early moments and produced an early chance when Phillip was denied at close range by a charging Amari in the seventh minute. Hughes had found Phillip on a diagonal run behind the OU backline. Phillip was again denied by a charging Amari in the 16th minute after running onto the end of a Jordan Clark pass from just beyond midfield. Sophomore Kyarah Foushee saw two attempts at the opener sail inches wide of the post. Both shots – the first in the 20th minute and again in the 34th minute - came from the top left of the penalty area and were just wide of the far post. UA continued to apply pressure after the halftime break and had what was thought to be the go-ahead goal called back in the 58th minute. DeNiro’s shot from long range was spilled by substitute keeper Liston and into the path of Phillip, who slammed home the rebound. Phiillip was ruled to be offside on the play, however, and the match remained goalless. Rusnak continued the UA barrage when her looping shot from 18 yards out rang the crossbar before being cleared away by the OU defense. Wolbert was called into action to make two saves in less than a minute in the 72nd minute. She first knocked away a header from OU’s Toye Famodu and then parried away a shot to the near post by Famudu just moments later.
The MAC tournament berth is the third in row for Akron – who was also the No. 7 seed last season.
Akron Women Dropped by Late Buffalo Goal
BUFFALO, NY - October 23, 2011 - The University of Akron women’s soccer team was defeated Sunday afternoon, 1-0, by a late Buffalo goal at UB Stadium. The Zips fall to 6-8-2 overall and 3-5-2 in the Mid-American Conference.
Buffalo improves to 10-4-4 and 3-3-4 in the conference. Akron dominated play throughout the match and held a 14-5 advantage in shots on goal. Jordan Clark, Rachel Phillip, and Kelly DeNiro all fired three shots on goal in the match. Senior netminder Jeny Wolbert made four saves. Buffalo found the game’s only goal in the 87th minute, when Aubrey Stahl beat Wolbert to her right side.
“I could not be prouder of this team,” UA coach Chris Pfau said. “We have nothing left mentally and most teams would have never shown up for this game. Not only did we show up, but we showed incredible heart. In the second half we dominated the play of the game, created great chances and never stopped working.”
Phillip had Akron’s best chance in the 20th minute, when she was played in alone with UB keeper Ainsley Wheldon. Wheldon was able to block away Phillip’s breakaway shot, however, to keep the match scoreless.
“Sometimes the better team does not win, but as a coach when a team puts that much into the game, you can never be disappointed,” Pfau said. “It has been a great thing to watch the development and leadership of our senior class.”
Akron will attempt to get back into the MAC tournament picture on Thursday in its final regular-season match of the season against Ohio. Kick-off at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field will be at 3:00 p.m.
Akron Women Fall at Kent State
KENT, OH - October 21, 2011 - Two second-half goals were the difference Friday as The University of Akron women’s soccer team was beaten by Kent State, 2-0, at a muddy Zoeller Field.
The two sides each fired nine shots, with Akron holding a 5-4 edge in shots on goal. Jordan Clark fired three shots for the Zips and Ashley Hughes put two strikes on frame. Kelly DeNiro had one of her two shots rip off the crossbar, while senior keeper Jeny Wolbert made two saves in the contest.
Kent State found the breakthrough in the 64th minute when Stephanie Haugh volleyed a cross from Jessica Gironda past Wolbert. It was the Golden Flashes first chance of the second stanza. DeNiro’s close-range blast rattled KSU netminder Kelly Sherwood’s near post and Hughes’s follow-up attempt was cleared off the line to deny Akron the equalizer just minutes later. Kyarah Foushee played DeNiro in who tried to beat Sherwood near post, only to be denied by the frame. The action proved to be Akron’s best shot at finding the tying score. Kent State upped the lead with less than ten minutes to go in the match. Sara Henderson took a flick off a long throw and buried it past Wolbert from seven yards out. Jaclyn Dutton was credited with the assist on the 85th minute tally.
Akron began to create chances in the latter stages of the first half after the early moments of the game saw no real chances. Clark rose to meet Kelly DeNiro’s corner with 15 minutes to go, but the header was grabbed by Sherwood. Clark’s free kick from just outside the box was directly at Sherwood a few minutes later. The Zips continued to push for a goal in the early moments after halftime. DeNiro attempted to grab the opener when she shot from distance five minutes into the second-half. Her shot skipped through to cause trouble for Sherwood - who was forced to deflect the ball over the end-line for a corner.
Akron looks to get back on track Sunday when they travel to Buffalo for a 12:00 p.m. game.
Akron Falls to Miami (OH)
AKRON, OH - October 16, 2011 - A rough second half for The University of Akron women's soccer team turned into a 3-0 loss at the hands of Miami (OH) Redhawks on Sunday afternoon.
The first half was rather uneventful as both the Zips and Redhawks tried to establish themselves in the attack. Akron's Rachel Phillip and Miami's Kayla Zakrewski were particularly dangerous on the offensive side, but the sides would enter halftime with a 0-0 scoreline.
A motivated Redhawks (8-7-0) squad entered the second period intent on scoring goals and that they did. Within 30 seconds Zakrewski collected a rebound and slotted it past UA keeper Jeny Wolbert, who finished the match with four saves. It was Zakrewski's seventh of the season. Minutes later Philip tried to equalize for Akron, but saw her shot clank off the crossbar before being cleared by the Miami backline.
Emily Hyde gave Miami a 2-0 lead in the 53rd minute as she scored on a close range shot off a Redhawks corner kick. Kelsey Dinges would then get the assist on a Katy Dolesh goal just four minutes later that gave Miami an insurmountable 3-0 lead over the home team.
"They're better than their record," Akron Head Coach Chris Pfau stated in a postgame interview. "They're fresher. They're sharper than us and it showed today."
Akron (6-6-2) makes the short trip to face local rival Kent State on Friday afternoon before heading to Buffalo on Sunday.
Zips Overcome Falcons to Take Senior Night Victory
AKRON, OH – October 14, 2011 - Katie Wise’s 81st minute strike was the breakthrough for The University of Akron women’s soccer team Friday night, as they downed Bowling Green, 1-0, on Senior Night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
The win came in front of a UA women’s soccer record crowd of 942 and catapulted the Zips (6-5-2, 3-2-2) to the top of the Mid-American Conference East standings. Bowling Green drops to 5-11-0 and 2-5-0 in the conference. The victory extended Akron’s regular season unbeaten streak against MAC East division foes to 11 games (10-0-1). The Zips have not lost a MAC East regular season match since the end of the 2008 season.
Senior Rachel Phillip fired three shots, while Wise placed a pair of shots on frame. Senior goalkeeper Jeny Wolbert made two saves to record her sixth shutout of the season. As a team, Akron has now kept seven clean sheets in 13 matches this season. After battling for 80 minutes of scoreless soccer, Akron found the breakthrough goal in the 81st minute. Kelly DeNiro played a ball over the top of the Bowling Green backline and Wise found herself in a footrace with Falcons’ keeper Becca Ison. The speedy striker was first to the ball and tipped a one-touch shot over the top of a sprawling Ison and into the back of the net. It was the first goal of the season for Wise and DeNiro’s second assist.
Akron had the best of the opportunities in a scoreless first half. Wise looked to have her first tally of the season twice in the early stages after being played in on goal twice in the first five minutes. Ison charged out to deflect her first run and Wise’s shot was right into the mitts of Ison a few moments later. The Zips first corner at the 24th minute also nearly produced the opening score. DeNiro’s service found the head of a charging Jordan Clark, but the senior’s header skimmed by the far post. Phillip then missed a grade-A chance in the 33rd minutes. Kyarah Foushee found Phillip in space 12 yards out from goal after making a run down the right side. Phillip faked a shot to let a BGSU defender fly by and then ripped a shot that flew just outside of the left post.
Akron takes on Miami on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. The Zips will honor women’s soccer alumni prior to the match.
Akron Earns 2-2 Road Draw Against Toledo
TOLEDO, OH - October 9, 2011 - The University of Akron women’s soccer team fought defending Mid-American Conference champion and current conference leader Toledo to a 2-2 road draw at UT’s Scott Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Zips (5-5-2, 2-2-2 MAC) fought back from a 1-0 second half deficit to take a 2-1 lead in the 81st minute before allowing an equalizer from the Rockets (6-5-2, 5-0-1).
UA became the first team to steal points from Toledo in conference play this season. Freshman Karina Atkinson and senior Rachel Phillip tallied goals for Akron, with junior Ashley Hughes picking up her first assist of the season on Phillip’s goal. Senior goalkeeper Jeny Wolbert made five saves in net, including one in each of the two overtime periods.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the team today,” UA coach Chris Pfau said. “This is a very tough road trip and after Friday’s loss, the team put in a great performance today. We came back from being a goal down to grab the lead and came very close to snatching the three points. This result will give us confidence going into the two MAC East home matches next weekend.”
The Rockets jumped into the lead just over a minute into the second half when Megan Blake’s shot found the back of the net. Akron equalized on Atkinson’s second goal of the season in the 56th minute. After receiving the ball from junior Katie Wise, the rookie forward smashed a shot that took a deflection off a UT defender and into the right side netting. The Zips then took a 2-1 advantage on Phillip’s 81st minute strike. Hughes picked up the ball in the middle third of the field and found Phillip on a perfectly timed run in alone on UT keeper Vicki Traven. Phillip did the rest by firing low past Traven and into the back of the net. Phillip was potent in front of goal all afternoon, launching four shots on target. The senior striker forced Traven into a save just over a minute into the match and again in the final minute of regulation.
The Akron lead was short lived, however, with UT answering right back less than a minute after the Phillip score. Kristen Lynn finished a cross from Nicole Gyugyik with a header past Wolbert to provide the final score.
The Zips return to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field next weekend to open MAC East play versus Bowling Green on Friday night and Miami on Sunday. Friday’s match will serve as the team’s senior night, while Sunday’s contest is alumni day for the women’s soccer program.
High Winds Don't Slow UA Women
DEKALB, IL - October 1, 2011 - The University of Akron picked up three Mid-American Conference road points by downing Northern Illinois, 1-0, in windy DeKalb Friday afternoon.
Senior Rachel Phillip’s second half tally was the difference for Akron (5-3-1, 2-0-1 MAC). The Zips produced a fifth straight shutout in the game with senior goalkeeper Jeny Wolbert making four saves.
Akron extended its current unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1) and its shutout streak to 496 minutes in the win. NIU dropped to 1-8-2 and 0-3-0 in MAC play. The Zips controlled the play throughout the match and led in shots (15-9) and shots on goal (7-4). Phillip fired a game-high six shots – four on frame. Senior Jordan Clark and junior Ashley Hughes each totaled three shots.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game with the wind,” UA coach Chris Pfau said. “The wind prevented us from playing our game, but we defended very well and battled for 90 minutes. Rachel scored a great goal and we got three valuable points on the road.”
Phillip’s second goal of the year set Akron ahead in the 63rd minute. Sophomore Gillian Gross started the play with a cross from the left side into the box where Senior Jordan Clark headed down to Phillip eight yards out from goal. Phillip lobbed a shot from there over NIU keeper Amy Carr to record the match’s only score.
Wolbert made three first half saves and Phillip and sophomore Maggie Rusnak both produced early chances fired shots on goal in the first 15 minutes of a scoreless first half. The Zips will face Western Michigan in Kalamazoo on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.