The Akron Zips (7-2-0) will play host to Mid-American Conference opponent Hartwick College (2-5-2) on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Akron Zips will be looking for their fifth consecutive win and their third win in MAC play. Although their record does not show it, the Hartwick Hawks have played some intense soccer this season. They have battled in every match they have played in this season.
The Zips have been edging out wins in their previous five matches, averaging just over one goal per game. Star forward Reinaldo Brenes will be a huge part of the Zips’ offense, as he leads the Zips in scoring with eight of the team’s ten goals.
The MAC player of the week, goalkeeper Fernando Piña, will be seeking his fourth consecutive clean sheet this season. The Zips will have to continue to play with organized, clean defense to keep Hartwick’s offense maintained. Piña has shown tremendous skill in goal this season, proving he can handle the immense pressure of a team that has had trouble scoring. According to Akron Athletics, Piña is ranked 10th in the country in goals-against-average with a score of 0.52 average goals scored against him.
The Zips must contain Hartwick’s lead scorer, Will Broomfield. They must also get pass goalkeeper Mateo Munarriz. Akron has controlled possession all season and should do the same on Saturday. However, they do have a few kinks on offense they need to work out and they must maintain their tactical defense.
The Zips, ranked No. 9 according to NCAA’s website, cannot have a letdown match after defeating West Virginia University on Sunday. Hartwick has proven to be a strong squad. Akron will be forced to continue their high level on defense in order to secure the win.