Smack the MAC

“The 17th-ranked University of Akron men’s soccer team was playing for more than just a victory in its 3-0 win against Western Michigan Saturday at Lee Jackson Field. With the win, the Zips earned home-field advantage for the Mid-American Conference Tournament and will host games on Nov.”

The 17th-ranked University of Akron men’s soccer team was playing for more than just a victory in its 3-0 win against Western Michigan Saturday at Lee Jackson Field.

With the win, the Zips earned home-field advantage for the Mid-American Conference Tournament and will host games on Nov. 16 and 18.

Head coach Caleb Porter said that hosting the MAC Tournament is a huge advantage for his team.

Being at home, sleeping in your own bed, in comfortable surroundings and going through your normal routine helps tremendously, he said.

The Zips (10-0 vs. MAC opponents) won their 10th MAC regular season title since 1993.

I was pleased that we were able to wrap up the regular season title in such convincing fashion, Porter said.

The Zips scored twice in the 22nd minute of play while holding WMU shotless in the first 45 minutes of play.

Senior Pablo Moreira scored the first goal at 21:05 and then assisted freshman Steve Zakuani 50 seconds later.

Moreira said that the team has played well together all year and it’s just a matter of who’s going to make the big play every game.

We are a very unselfish team, Moreira said. We got the loose balls and were the better team on Saturday. We finished our chances.

The Zips out-shot the Broncos 10-2 and were aided by an insurance goal from senior Steve Kalan, his second of the season.

The Zips were able to scratch off one of their goals from the beginning of the season after their win Saturday.

That’s one of our goals (MAC regular season champions), Porter said. Hopefully it will lead into a NCAA postseason birth.

The team’s 11th shutout of the season Saturday leads the NCAA.

With 10 days until the team’s next game, Porter said the players and coaches will use the time effectively.

Over the course of the season, we have gotten minor injuries and for our team to be able to recharge our batteries and get sharp, especially our key players, it will be a nice time to do it, he said.

Porter said the Zips will train and sharpen up in order to be ready for the opening round of the MAC Tournament.

Four players have scored five goals this season for the Zips including: Moreira, Zakuani, Matt Tutich and Elliot Bradbrook.

The Zips will play the winner of a play-in game featuring Northern Illinois and Bowling Green at home on Nov. 16.


” #1.1361552:961152039.jpg:Kalan__Steve (soccer).jpg:Senior Steve Kalan scored his second goal of the season Saturday.:Jeff Harwell / Zips Sports Photography”