The UA Women's Soccer Insider

EA Sports FIFA Soccer 12

Record Crowd for UA Women's Soccer

AKRON, OH - September 28, 2012 -  The University of Akron women's soccer team fell to Northern Illinois, 1-0, in its Mid-American Conference home opener Friday night in front of a FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field women's soccer record crowd of 1,165.

The Zips controlled the possession in the match from the outset and junior midfielder Kelly DeNiro had the game's first shot in the 10th minute from outside the 18-yard box, which went over the bar. Not long after, senior forward Ashley Hughes sent in a driven cross that NIU goalkeeper Amy Carr was able to grab on the near post.

At the 13:15 mark, Northern Illinois (5-4-1, 1-1-1 MAC) scored the match's lone goal when Cori Frankenburg's cross from the right flank found Frances Boukidis, who turned and finished from 10 yards in the middle of the box.

The Zips continued to have a majority of the possession following the goal, but could not find the break through. Junior defender Amber Kern sent a strike wide of goal in the 20th minute and senior midfielder Katie Wise got to the endline and sent a dangerous cross back towards the middle of the box in the 32nd minute, but Akron was unable to get off a clean shot on frame.

Akron (4-6-0, 0-3-0 MAC) drew the first corner of the second half and Kern was able to get her head on the end of Hughes' service, but she couldn't keep her header below the bar.

The best chance of the night for the Zips to equalize came in the 63rd minute. Wise intercepted a misplayed ball by the NIU defense and was in on goal. Carr came off her line to deny Wise's shot on the breakaway, but the rebound was controlled by Hughes, who fired a shot that was headed off the goal line by a retreating Huskie defender.

UA had a good chance from a set piece in a dangerous position just outside the box in the 76th, but Kern's direct strike sailed high. DeNiro also had a rip towards the far post at 84:08, but the ball stayed wide of goal.

In goal for Akron, freshman Klaire Adee played all 90 minutes and made two saves. DeNiro and Kern each had three shots for the UA offense.

For the match, the Zips outshot NIU, 9-4, including a 5-1 margin in the second half. Akron also won the corner kick battle, 4-3.

The Zips continue their two game MAC homestand on Sunday as they host Toledo on "Kick for the Cure" Day. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Akron Women Fall to Ball State

MUNCIE, IN - September 23, 2012 - Cailey Starck scored the game-winning goal in the 82nd minute as the Ball State women's soccer team defeated Akron, 2-1, in a Mid-American Conference match Sunday afternoon at Briner Sports Complex. Sophomore midfielder Karina Atkinson scored her first goal of the season for the Zips.

Ball State (5-3-2, 2-0-0 MAC) got on the board 2:40 into the match as Jasmine Moses scored on a one-touch finish in front of goal. Kalynn Flanagan and Pavla Benyrova assisted.

The Zips drew their first corner in the ninth minute and freshman forward Megan Waskowski had Akron's first shot on goal two minutes later. Junior midfielder Kelly DeNiro had back-to-back shots blocked in the 16th minute.

In the 24th minute, senior forward Ashley Hughes sent in an effort that hit the post and Waskowski had another shot on goal at 26:37.

Ball State's Victoria Jacobs had a header that hit the crossbar in the 30th minute, but the Zips grabbed the equalizer at 38:13 when Atkinson scored her first goal of the season off a quick restart from Hughes. The assist gave Hughes a team-high tying three helpers on the season.

The game remained tied at 1-1 heading into halftime as redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Alex Luevano-Harden came up with five saves in the first stanza.

Akron (4-5-0, 0-2-0 MAC) drew the first two corners of the second half and junior defender Amber Kern sent a free kick wide of goal for UA in the 66th minute. With 22 minutes remaining, Luevano-Harden came up with a big save on a breakaway to keep the game level.

Following an Akron free kick in the 79th minute, freshman defender Holly Ohradzansky sent a shot wide left of goal. But with just under nine minutes remaining, Ball State scored the game-winner at 81:08 when Starck's strike from outside the box found the back of the net. Michelle Blok was credited with the assist for the Cardinals.

In goal, Luevano-Harden played all 90 minutes and posted a career-high nine saves. Hughes had a team-high three shots for the Zips and Waskowski had two shots on goal.

While the Cardinals outshot Akron, 26-11, the Zips had seven corners to three for Ball State.

The Zips return home to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field next weekend for a pair of MAC contests as Akron hosts Northern Illinois on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Toledo on Sunday at 1 p.m.

UA Falls in MAC Opener

OXFORD, OH - September 21, 2012 - Following a scoreless first half, the Miami University women's soccer team scored four second half goals as the RedHawks defeated Akron, 4-1, in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams Friday afternoon at Miami Soccer Field. Senior forward Ashley Hughes found the back of the net for the Zips.

Miami (7-2-0, 1-0-0 MAC) opened the match by drawing two corner kicks in the first three minutes. Akron's first shot came in the eighth minute when senior midfielder Katie Wise sent one just wide right of goal.

In the 10th minute, Miami's Haley Walter forced a diving save out of UA redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Alex Luevano-Harden. The Zips drew their first corner in the 13th minute and following a Miami corner in the 28th, the RedHawks' Katy Dolesh got off a header that hit the crossbar.

Freshman forward Megan Waskowski had a shot in the 32nd minute that went wide and Hughes put UA's first shot on frame in the 41st.

Luevano-Harden came up with six saves in the first 45 minutes to keep the game level at halftime.

Akron (4-4-0, 0-1-0 MAC) opened the second stanza with the first corner of the half in the 49th minute. But at 50:04, Miami broke the deadlock when Kayla Zakrzewski scored off a through ball from Katee Wensinger. 

Miami extended its lead to 2-0 just over three minutes later when Zakrzewski's cross found Wensinger on the back post, who was able to put the ball away.  Zakrzewski added her second tally of the day at 62:33 with an unassisted strike from the top of the 18-yard box. 

At 68:15, Miami's Olivia Evans sent a long ball through to Dolesh, who was able to finish to make the score 4-0. 

The Zips got one back at 77:29 when Hughes scored on a breakaway off a long pass from sophomore midfielder Brooke Carrel. The goal was Hughes' team-high tying third of the season and the assist was Carrel's first career point. 

In goal, Luevano-Harden played the first 62 minutes and tied her career-high with seven saves. Freshman Klaire Adee played the final 28 minutes and registered two saves.

The Zips continue Mid-American Conference play on Sunday as they travel to Ball State. Kickoff from Muncie, Ind. is set for 2 p.m.

Zips Stampeded by Thundering Herd

AKRON, OH - September 16, 2012 - Marshall scored a goal in each half as the Thundering Herd women's soccer team defeated Akron, 2-0, Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. The match was Akron's final non-conference contest of the season.

UA (4-3-0) started out the match with two good scoring opportunities. In the third minute, the Zips won the first corner of the match and had a great chance as junior defender Amber Kern fired a one-time shot off the long corner, which rattled the near post.

In the 10th minute, freshman forward Megan Waskowski collected a pass from redshirt freshman midfielder Lexa Green on the right side of the box and her shot went just wide of the far post. Then just a minute and a half later, Marshall's Kelly Culicerto headed in a corner kick by Chelsey Maiden to give the Thundering Herd (4-4-0) a 1-0 lead at the 10:41 mark.

Senior forward Ashley Hughes served a cross in the 27th minute, which clipped the crossbar and Kern had a shot on goal following another Akron corner half a minute later.

Junior midfielder Kelly DeNiro had a great strike from outside the box in the 34th minute which appeared to be headed for the far corner of the goal, but Marshall goalkeeper Lindsey Kerns dove and was able to get a hand on the shot to prevent it from going in. The game remained 1-0 in favor of Marshall heading into the half.

Early in the second half, the Zips hit the woodwork for the third time in the match as freshman defender Katie George cracked a shot from 20 yards out off the bar.

But less than a minute later, Marshall added to its lead when Alyssa Cathey's shot from the outside found the far corner at 53:07. Casey Walsh assisted. In the 68th minute, Hughes nearly cut the Thundering Herd in half as she forced an excellent reaction save out of Kerns with a close range near post drive.

For the match, shots were 18-10 in favor of Marshall and corners were 11-5 for the Thundering Herd. Hughes led the Akron offense with three shots. In goal, redshirt sophomore Alex Luevano-Harden played all 90 minutes and registered a career-best seven saves.

The Zips open Mid-American Conference play next weekend with a pair of road games. Akron travels to Miami (Ohio) on Friday at 4 p.m. and then Ball State on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Hughes the Heroine for Akron

AKRON, OH - September 9, 2012 - Senior forward Ashley Hughes scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute as the University of Akron women's soccer team defeated Canisius, 1-0, Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. The win was Akron's second straight shutout victory.

Akron improves to 4-2-0 with its win, while Canisius falls to 1-6-0.

The Zips came out as the aggressor as they won a corner kick in the third minute. Junior midfielder Maggie Rusnak got her head on the end of the corner and her effort was saved from going in by a Canisius defender guarding the post.

In the 13th minute, senior midfielder Katie Wise got free and hit a one-time shot off a cross from junior midfielder Kelly DeNiro, which went just wide of the near post.

Canisius had a good opportunity just a minute later but redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Alex Luevano-Harden came up with a great double save off two shots from Brittany Krause.

Freshman forward Megan Waskowski forced a save out of Canisius goalie Brigid St. Leger in the 20th and freshman midfielder Hannah Werth had a good strike from outside in the 40th minute. DeNiro sent one just wide of the near post a minute later and the game remained scoreless going into halftime.

Much like the first half, Akron came out on the attack in the beginning of the second stanza. Waskowski got a touch off a corner that nearly found the far post in the 48th minute. Then, Wise collected a loose ball off a corner and cracked a shot that was saved in the 51st minute.

The Zips continued to look for the break though as sophomore midfielder Karina Atkinson had her shot blocked in the 73rd and Wise just missed getting on the end of a cross from redshirt freshman midfielder Lexa Green two minutes later.

UA continued to keep attacking the Canisius box and was rewarded with the goal at 85:07. After Atkinson's initial shot from the left side of the box was saved, she retrieved the rebound and played the ball back to the top where Hughes settled it and buried the shot from just past the penalty spot.

The goal was Hughes' second of the season and Atkinson notched her second assist of the weekend.

For the match, Akron held the advantage in shots at 18-9, while Canisius had the edge in corners 8-7. The Zips put 10 shots on goal, compared to six for the Golden Griffins.

In goal, Luevano-Harden played all 90 minutes and made six saves, while registering her second straight clean sheet.

The Zips will be back in action next Sunday, Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. when they host Marshall at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

Akron's Dominance of Cleveland State Continues

CLEVELAND, OH - September 7, 2012 - Second half goals by freshman forward Megan Waskowski and junior midfielder Kelly DeNiro lifted the University of Akron women's soccer team to a 2-0 win at local rival Cleveland State Friday evening at Krenzler Field. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Alex Luevano-Harden posted her first shutout of the season in the win.

With the win, Akron improves to 3-2-0, while Cleveland State drops to 2-4-0.

"I thought Cleveland State did a good job of getting us out of rhythm in the first half and that was frustrating," said Akron interim head coach Vernon Croft. "With that being said, I thought we responded well to the adjustments we made at halftime and you could see that when we got our rhythm again, it became a simpler game for us. Then things really started to click and we became more effective going from the middle third to the final third in the second half." 

The Zips earned the match's first corner in the second minute. A short corner by DeNiro resulted in a shot for Akron by junior defender Amber Kern, which went wide.

Through the first half, Akron held the possession in the midfield as the Vikings looked to counter.

In the 29th minute, Kern combined down the right flank with sophomore defender Hailey Kirkwood. Kirkwood's service found the head of DeNiro, but her effort was saved by CSU goalie Becca Coleman.

CSU's best chance of the first half was a counter-attack that resulted in a shot wide of goal by Vickie Havas in the 40th minute. The game remained scoreless entering the half. 

Five minutes into the second half, Luevano-Harden came up with a big save on a close range shot by Havas. Jaime Avona's follow-up was blocked by a Zip defender to keep the game level at zero.

In the 63rd minute, senior forward Ashley Hughes played a ball through to Waskowski who hit a driven shot on frame that was saved by Coleman.

At 66:09, the Zips struck first as DeNiro's through ball to the right side of the box found Waskowski who buried the shot into the far post. The goal was Waskowski's team-leading third of the season.

DeNiro continued to create offense for Akron as her long range effort in the 69th went wide. Then, sophomore midfielder Karina Atkinson created space down the right flank and put a shot on frame in the 76th minute. 

Akron kept on the attack as DeNiro fired a high strike from range in the 82nd that was tipped over the bar by Coleman. After the resulting corner, Atkinson controlled a CSU clearance and played a ball back into the box which DeNiro settled and then cracked a shot into the back of the net at 82:16 to give the Zips an insurance goal and the 2-0 win. 

The goal was DeNiro's first of the season and the assist was Atkinson's first point of the season.

For the match, shots were even at 10, while Akron held the edge in corners 9-5.

In goal, Luevano-Harden played all 90 minutes and made three saves while earning the clean sheet.

The Zips will be back in action on Sunday at 1 p.m. when they host Canisius at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. 

UA Women Fall to MSU

EAST LANSING, MI - September 2, 2012 - Annie Steinlage's game-winning goal in the 81st minute gave the No. 36 Michigan State women's soccer team a 2-1 win over Akron Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium. Freshman forward Megan Waskowski netted her second goal of the season for the Zips in the 66th minute.

UA evens its record at 2-2-0 with the loss, while Michigan State moves to 4-1-0. The Spartans are ranked fifth in this week's NSCAA Great Lakes Region poll and No. 36 nationally in the latest Top Drawer Soccer Tournament 64 rankings. MSU is the second straight top-40 opponent Akron has faced as the Zips played No. 37 William & Mary last Sunday at the Tennessee Lady Vol Classic.

"Playing ranked teams in back to back weeks is always a challenge," said Akron interim head coach Vernon Croft. "With that said, to play as well as we did today is a sign of maturity for such a young team. I couldn't be more proud and I think we played up to the challenge. We're not satisfied with the result, but nobody on the team is disappointed on how we played."

The Zips recorded the first shot of the match as Waskowski hit one wide in the second minute. MSU countered with a corner and back-to-back shots on goal in the fourth and fifth minutes, but redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Alex Luevano-Harden was there for the save on both shots.

With 31 minutes remaining in the half, Luevano-Harden came out and cut off a Michigan State breakaway attempt to keep the match scoreless.

Following three Spartan corners, Michigan State struck first at 17:42 when Kelsey Mullen's strike from 30 yards out went off the crossbar and in. Jordan Mueller and Steinlage were credited with assists.

Luevano-Harden would come up with three more saves in the first half to keep the match at 1-0 heading into halftime.

In the second half, MSU's Olivia Stander hit the post on a shot in the 54th minute and Luevano-Harden won another breakaway challenge to keep the Zips within a single goal margin.

Then when Akron then got its chance to equalize at 65:49, Waskowski put it away. Senior forward Ashley Hughes combined with the UA freshman, who finished a shot from the left side of the 18-yard box to tie the match at 1-1. The assist was Hughes' second of the season.

However, the home side regained the lead at 80:51 when Steinlage sent a lofting shot from the right side of the box that found the back of the net. Mueller supplied the assist.

Over the final nine minutes, the Spartans kept Akron from scoring to earn the 2-1 victory.

In goal, Luevano-Harden made her first start of the season, played all 90 minutes, and collected five saves.

The Zips will be back in action next Friday, Sept. 7 at local rival Cleveland State at 7 p.m. UA returns home on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. when it hosts Canisius at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

Pele Sports

EA Sports

Cult Zeros


Jason Mowry Photography

Nation Books


©International Soccer Network, LLC