Twin wins propel men's soccer team to No.7 in country

Written by: Zach West

Sept. 4, 2012- The UA Men’s Soccer team started the 2012 regular season on a fast pace with a 2-0-1 start.  According to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, put out on Aug. 28, the Zips moved from 10th to the seventh-ranked team in the country.

The Zips have recorded wins against Florida Gulf Coast 4-0 and SIU Edwardsville 2-1, while tying second-ranked Creighton 1-1 after two overtimes.

The Zips opened their season at home in front of 4,440 fans at FirstEnergy Stadium- Cub Cadet field Aug 24 as they hosted FGCU.

The fourth largest crowd in school history saw an exciting first half which the Zips (2-0-1) led 1-0 going into the break.  In the 10th minute the Zips nearly took a 1-0 lead after a struggle in front of the goal and a point blank shot, taken by Bryan Gallego, was deflected by an Eagle defender.

At the 30 min. mark a similar scramble in front of the Eagle goal resulted in 2 deflected shots by Chad Barson and Wil Trapp.

UA went up 1-0 in the 20th min. when a through ball from Trapp was picked up by sophomore, Eric Stevenson who shot a low liner from 20 yds. that found the left corner of the net.

After half time the Zips took care of business and scored three goals.

At the 56:30 mark Stevenson found Thomas Schmitt.  Schmitt then beat his defender from the right flank and landed his shot in the left corner of the net.

Eight minutes later Aodhan Quinn knocked a header in from a DeAndre Yedlin cross pass.

At the 73:13 mark, Scott Caldwell scored off of a Robbie Derschang pass with a pretty one-timer.

There were 10 Zips that recorded shots, led by Trapp with 3. In the match they out shot the Eagles (1-2) 14-6 in the game, including an 11-0 advantage with shots on goal.

Stevenson led the team in statistics, recording one goal and one assist.

The Zips traveled to Omaha, Neb. To participate in the Ameritas Classic and took on second-ranked Creighton Sept. 1.

The Zips survived a tough battle with a 1-1 draw in two overtimes.

The Zips trailed 1-0 at half time for just the 11th time in the seven years under Coach Porter.

In the 24th min. Creighton’s Jose Gomez’s shot was deflected of a UA defender and fell in the lap of Sean Kim who took an uncontested shot from the left that bounced off the right post into the net.

The Zips and Blue Jays (2-0-1) came out of the half and battled right down to the wire.  In the 57th min. Yedlin beat his defender and fired a cross to freshman Alfred Koroma who headed in his first goal as a Zip.

The final 15 minutes of the match was an aggressive attempt by both teams to get the go-ahead goal.  With four minutes left David Meves, Zips goalkeeper, made on of his three saves in the game with a diving stop.

With two minutes left in regulation Akron’s last ditch effort also came up short after a corner kick and a shot by Quinn was deflected.

A through ball from Stevenson found Quinn that resulted in the game-winning goal in the first overtime, but an offsides call erased the goal.

For the match the Zips again out shot their opponent 15-12, with a 5-4 advantage on-goal.  They also recorded a 4-1 advantage in overtime.

Since 2009 the Zips have recorded a record of 7-1-3 against top 25 teams.

In their final game of the Ameritas Classic, the Zips gave SIU Edwardsville their first loss of the season with a 2-1 victory.

With a dominant first half the Zips recorded a 10-1 advantage on shots in the half.  The Cougars (3-1) did not take a shot until the 41st min., which was a two-bouncer that was easily saved by Meves.

In the 16th min., Caldwell’s corner kick found the head of Chad Barson and the senior flicked it in to put the Zips up 1-0.

In the final minute of the first half Dillon Serna’s corner kick found an un-guarded Gallego at the back post.  The sophomore headed in the shot to record his first goal as a Zip and put the team up 2-0 going into the half.

The Cougars did not go away, however.  In the 75th min., SIU scored on a break away goal by Christian Volesky.

The final efforts for the Cougars were not successful as the Zips went on to gain a victory.

UA had the shot advantage again, 14-4, with a 5-3 advantage on-goal.

Koroma and Stevenson were named to the Ameritas Classic All-Tournament Team after the contest.

The Zips will take another road trip when the travel to South Bend, Ind. for the Notre Dame Tournament.  They will take on 10th ranked Indiana Friday and hosting school Notre Dame Sept. 9.