Akron falls to Central Michigan

Written by: Sartaj Aujla

The Zips fell to Central Michigan 2-1 on Friday to add to their eight-game losing streak, but were able to snap that losing streak on Sunday with a win over Bowling Green, 2-0.

“Finally got a win to get things going,” interim head coach Vernon Croft said. “I feel like we got the monkey off our backs, to use a cliche.”

The win is also Akron’s first Mid-American Conference win of the season. The Zips currently have an overall record of 5-10 and a MAC record of 1-7.

The Zips traveled to Mt. Pleasant, Mich. to take on MAC-leading Central Michigan, where Akron looked to post a surprising win.

Central Michigan’s Ashley Mejila scored the game’s first point 12 minutes into the game.

Twenty minutes later, though, the Zips found the scoreboard when Ashley Hughes delivered the ball to Megan Waskowski, who drove it in to even the score to 1-1.
Defense was the mentality, as it carried on into and out of the locker rooms. The score stayed at an even 1-1 for the majority of the rest of the game. The Zips looked to create a game-winning drive in the final minutes.

However, the Chippewas were able to steal that away from the Zips. In the 80th minute, Central Michigan’s Jennifer Gassman made the goal and essentially closed the game for the Zips. The game marked the sixth straight game Akron has lost by one point.

“For the most part, we were able to compete with Central Michigan, who leads the MAC,” Croft said.

After the tough loss, the Zips were still looking for that one win to get them going, as they traveled to Bowling Green to take on the Falcons.

Akron was looking to score first and fast. At the 14-minute mark, Kelly DeNiro rocketed a shot into the net to bring the score 1-0.

Bowling Green tried to muster up a response, but their two shots before the end of the half came up short. The Falcons headed into the locker room scoreless.
The Falcons were looking to get back into the game right out of the gate at halftime. However, the Zips would beat them to it.

Kelly DeNiro continued her impressive performance with an assist from Ashley Hughes. DeNiro’s shot found its way into the goal to give Akron the favorable lead, 2-0.

The Zips would continue to play great defense and to shut out any attempts by the Falcons to come back. The game ended and snapped Akron’s eight-game losing streak. The game also eliminated Bowling Green from MAC tournament contention.

“We played great defense to close out the game,” Croft said. “I thought the players did very well and kept that competitiveness going.”

Akron had been on the losing streak since Sept. 16th, when they lost to Marshall at home. The win was a huge boost to the team’s morale, as well as to their competitive focus for the rest of the season.

“It was such a relief for the players to get the win,” Croft said. “To see the reaction on their faces was a relief for me, and the coaching staff as well. But, having said this, we still need to continue to compete. We have three more games left in the season, and we want to end strong, with results.”