AK-Rowdies invade Columbus on Tuesday

Written by: Parker Perry

The biggest match that The University of Akron soccer team annually participates in is their match against Ohio State.

When the match is played at Ohio State, Akron’s student section, the AK-ROWDIES, stirs up the crowd by sending two busloads of their members to Columbus.

The match this year, which was played on Tuesday, was no different.

The AK-ROWDIES boarded their bus around 5 p.m. and pulled into Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium 30 minutes before the match was to start. Ohio State, being gracious hosts, met the students at the bus and welcomed them to their university.

Akron Students were not the only UA followers to attend the match. Well before the gates opened, UA alumni and parents tailgated. Nearly 50 fans assembled outside the gates.

Akron had invaded.

During the day, something of a Twitter war started between the AK-ROWDIES and Ohio State’s student section “Block O.” OSU soccer’s Twitter page announced to their students that they needed the win, because everyone hated Akron’s fans.

“Gotta get a win tonight for anyone who has played Akron! Everyone hates their fans. #noclass #gobucks #beatakron,” read the @BlockOSoccer Twitter page several hours before the match.

With tensions high already, the AK-ROWDIES marched to the gate chanting the famous “When the Zips go marching in” chant.

Everyone who was around the stadium heard the crowd heading in.

The students happened to walk right through the Akron tailgate area as well, which caused a nice meet-and-greet as the mob made their way to the stadium.

The game was shown on the Big Ten Network. With nearly 100 students chanting in unison, the network’s microphones were able to pick up every word that was sung or chanted at the match.

Ohio State promoted the game as a must-see.

Therefore, they had their largest crowd of the season themselves.

With 2,000 fans, many of whom were Ohio State students, they attempted to match the AK-ROWDIES’ presence.

However, because of their lack of practice, they were unable to do so.

The AK-ROWDIES have struggled this year in getting students out to games.

Attendance has been down this year. The turnout for this road trip is a good sign to come.

They will be attempting to re-grow the crowd as tournament time approaches. The Zips soccer team will play one more regular season game on Saturday, Nov. 3.

Then they will most likely host the Mid-American Conference tournament and many NCAA tournament games.

They appreciate any and every student that makes their way out to the matches.