Akron athletics fall sports recap
December 5, 2013
Filed under Sports
The collegiate fall sports season has come to a close. The University of Akron’s athletics had its ups and downs.
The football team had one of its most successful seasons in the last decade. The men’s soccer team had one of the better seasons when compared to the rest of the country, but an average season when compared to the Akron standard, and both women’s teams — soccer and volleyball — left a lot wanting.
It was an incredibly average fall season in general for Akron.
There was nothing wrong with the performance that the 2013 Akron Zips football team presented. Head coach Terry Bowden led his team to a 5-7 record and a 4-4 Mid-American Conference mark. He did it with youthful players that will hopefully make a larger impact next season.
One of those youthful players was sophomore quarterback Kyle Pohl. Pohl statistically was only the seventh best quarterback in the conference, according to MAC statistics, and he had some frustrating points too. However, his bright spots have many conference analysts interested in what he could achieve in the next two seasons.
Akron’s biggest accomplishment of the season may not have been winning five games. It may have been only losing to Michigan by four points. Pohl played one of his best games of the season on that Saturday afternoon and the defense was also strong.
The defensive front four was a constant for the Zips this season. The Akron defense finished fourth best in the conference this season, and a lot of that had to do with the success of the defensive line. Akron had two players, Nico Caponi and Albert Presley, who finished the season with more than five sacks.
The Akron season in reality was not great. The only reason why people are impressed is because the Zips’ recent past football teams were so mediocre. However, it was a nice change to watch a football team that had a real shot at winning most of their games.
Men’s soccer had an up and down season. They started slowly, but by the end of the year had people wondering if they had enough to make another College Cup run.
They didn’t. Akron fell to Marquette in the second round of the tournament. However, it was a good first showing for new head coach Jared Embick. His team looked organized most of the season and was able to take out high power teams like Penn State, Michigan and Indiana.
One thing that will come up in the offseason will be goalkeeping. The Zips had Fernando Piña as their keeper for all of the regular season, but decided that during the tournament they
were going to go with Jake Fenlason. There may be more to the story than what was presented (coach Embick decided his team had a better chance winning with Fenlason), but all of those questions have gone unanswered.
The women’s soccer season did not go the way the program had hoped.
The team finished with a 5-11-3 record and only a 2-8-1 conference record. Akron lost a lot of their games by a goal difference of two or larger, which usually indicates that they were beaten by superior teams and that it was not really about luck.
However, Akron did produce talent on the pitch. The Zips’ Lani Smith was named to the conference second team. Smith scored nine goals and came through with two assists in the 2013 season.
The Akron volleyball season did not go well.
The Zips finished the season 8-19. The overall record is not terrible. They started out strong and clinched victories in their first four matches. However, it was when they entered conference play that things started getting rocky.
Akron lost their first 11 MAC matches and finished last in the conference. The Zips have had a rough couple of years in the conference and will need to rebound in 2014.