Men's soccer team stomps over South Florida 5-0

Written by: Zach West

The Akron men’s soccer team won The University of Akron tournament over the weekend with a 0-0 draw against tenth-ranked St. John’s on Friday and a dominating 5-0 win against 11th-ranked South Florida Sunday evening.

The ninth-ranked Zips improve to 4-1-2 on the season. Head coach Caleb Porter said that playing six top-25 teams will help the team throughout the season and into the postseason.

On Sunday evening, the Zips shut out the USF Bulls in a dominant outing. With the Zips on the attack for most of the game, they recorded an 18-6 shot advantage and a 9-3 on-goal advantage.

“After Friday, I challenged the team to be more aggressive scoring goals,” Porter said after the game.

In a physical first half, the Zips went up 1-0 in the 14th minute after a volley in front of the Bulls’ goal. Caldwell finished from close range off the assist from Quinn for his third goal of the season.

In the second half, the Zips turned up the heat and recorded 11 of their 18 shots, while allowing just three shots.

In the 55th minute, Dillon Serna brought the score to 2-0 off a shot from the top of the box, assisted by Brenes and Phil Fives, for his first goal in an Akron uniform.

Six minutes later, Stevenson scored his third goal of the season off a rebound shot by Robbie Derschang, who played 38 minutes coming off the bench.

After a scuffle in the USF box, the Zips earned a penalty kick. Caldwell got his fourth goal of the season, and his second of the game, when his shot found the right side of the net as the Bulls’ goalkeeper dove to the left.

The Zips put the icing on the cake when Quinn scored his second goal of the year on a floater that was just out of the goalkeeper’s reach.

Meves had a spectacular game, with three saves, and was named Defensive MVP of the tournament.

“David Meves is playing the best I’ve seen him play in his four years here,” Porter said.

Caldwell joined Meves in tournament honors by earning the Offensive MVP.

“Overall, I’m happy with the team,” Meves said. ”We were winning balls and tackles this game.”

The Zips improved their record to 9-2-4 in their last 14 regular-season matches against top 25 teams.

“This is certainly the most dominant game this season, in all facets of the game,” Porter said.

In Friday’s back-and-forth match against St. John’s (5-0-3), the Zips had more scoring opportunities despite two starters being out. Aodhan Quinn was suspended because of a red card in the loss to Notre Dame, and Alfred Koroma was out due to an illness.

The first chance for the Zips to score was in the first half, off a shot from Scott Caldwell that was headed towards the upper-right corner. St. John’s goalkeeper Rafael Diaz punched it out for his first of four saves of the night.

Eric Stevenson and Reinaldo Brenes led the Zips with three shots apiece, and both had a chance to put the Zips ahead. The first chance came in the 43rd minute when Stevenson’s liner from the top of the box was pushed over the net. The next came with four minutes left in regulation when Brenes broke away from the defense on the right side of the field. Diaz blocked the shot headed for the inside of the left post.In the 85th minute, the Zips missed their best chance to score when a cross by DeAndre Yedlin missed the head of Brenes.

Akron led the game with a 4-3 shot-on-goal advantage and a 9-7 advantage on total shots, as well as a 6-4 advantage on corner kicks.

Zips goalkeeper David Meves also had an outstanding game in the box, recording three saves of his own and helping the team to earn their third shutout of the season.

The Zips open up conference play when they travel to Bowling Green  Saturday.