Women’s soccer finishes campaign

By Parker Perry, Sports Editor

The Akron women’s soccer team’s season has finished. The Zips finished 5-11-3 overall and 2-8-1 in Mid-American Conference play.

The Zips failed to clinch a spot in the MAC tournament, finishing 11th out of 12 teams. Only the top eight teams advanced to the tournament.

Akron entered the 2013 campaign with high hopes that their struggles last season were due to rotten luck. The Zips had lost most of their conference games by a single goal, an anomaly. This year the Zips lost by more. Out of their eight conference losses, the Zips lost by two or more goals six times.

Though the Zips did not get the results that they wanted throughout the season, they did have some individual performances that landed a couple of their players on award lists.

Senior Amber Kern and junior Lani Smith were named on Monday to the College Sports Madness All-MAC team, according to Akron Athletics.

Kern started all 19 matches for the Zips this season, but she was only able to notch one goal. Her contributions came on the defensive end of the pitch. Throughout her career, Kern started 72 matches for Akron, which landed her as the second most-seen player in Zips history. She played 74 matches overall during her time in Akron.

Smith was in her first year at Akron. She started her career at the University of South Carolina but transferred to UA this year. After playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, she took on the Mid-American Conference and dominated. Smith finished fifth in goals scored. She scored nine goals in her 19 games played.

Akron as a whole did not do to well in most statistical categories. According to MAC statistics, Akron finished seventh in shots taken and ninth in points scored, a category that measures shots, goals and assists. They also finished ninth in goals scored.

Defensively, the Zips again finished near the bottom of most stats. Akron came in dead last in shutouts with zero, only saved 80 shots that landed them in eighth place, and when it came to rough play, the Zips were the best. UA finished with the most fouls in the entire league with 122 on the year.

Akron did not convert on their corner kicks and were called for offsides more than nine other teams in the league. The season had a lot of downfalls, and the Zips were unable to correct their mistakes to get positive results.

Despite the Zips not getting the job done on the field, Akron played in front of larger crowds than most teams when at home. The Zips had the second largest average attendance in the conference. They played in front of an average of 383 people. Only Bowling Green, who finished behind the Zips and did not win a MAC game this season, played in front of more.

The Zips will now go into the offseason. The 2014 season will be head coach Vernon Croft’s third year, and he will need to see improvement.