“The University of Akron’s men’s soccer team stayed perfect after defeating the last Big-Ten team on their schedule Wednesday night at Lee Jackson Field by a score of 2-1. With the win, the Zips improve to (18-0-0) on the season and (5-0-0) against the Big-Ten this season Similar to the Penn State game, the Zips wasted no time getting on the board.””
The University of Akron’s men’s soccer team stayed perfect after defeating the last Big-Ten team on their schedule Wednesday night at Lee Jackson Field by a score of 2-1.
With the win, the Zips improve to (18-0-0) on the season and (5-0-0) against the Big-Ten this season
Similar to the Penn State game, the Zips wasted no time getting on the board.
In the fourth minute of the game, forward Teal Bunbury received an assist from forward Darlington Nagbe. Bunbury chipped the ball right over Michigan State goalie Jeremy Clark to put the Zips on top 1-0.
The goal was team leading Bunbury’s 15th on the year.
To much surprise of the Zips, Michigan State was able to tie the game in the 39th minute.
Defender Tim Granaderos scored his first goal of the year from a cross from forward Rubin Bega. Granaderos shot came from the left of the box, eight yards out.
The goal marked the first time an opponent has scored at Lee Jackson Field all year.
Akron finished the half with an advantage in shots at 9-5 and tied Michigan State in corner kicks at 1-1.
Akron came out in the second half and put it together, tallying seven shots total in the half to Michigan State’s one.
Akron went on top once again in the minute when midfielder Ben Speas was taken down inside the box to draw a penalty kick.
I thought Ben went in and did a tremendous job and he drew us the penalty kick to win us the game, head coach Caleb Porter said.
Blair Gavin, who seems to be the specialist on penalty kicks this year, was chosen to take the kick and he knocked the ball off the high post and into the net.
They trusted me again to step up to take the penalty kick, Gavin said. My heart sunk a little bit when it hit the crossbar, but once it hit that net I was happy.
When I go up I feel confident in which way I’m going to chose and if I hit it well enough I don’t think a keeper can catch up to it.
Gavin is four for four on the year in penalty kicks.
Akron finished the 2-1 win with an advantage in shots at 16-6 and an advantage on corner kicks at 3-1.
We knew it was going to be a tough game and, in all honesty, this is what we needed, Porter said. We have not faced too many opponents who have tested us, especially when we’re defending.
I told our guys at halftime that our edge is always going to be our ability to defend individually and collectively better than any other team.
Akron will finish up the regular season this Saturday as they take on the Hartwick Hawks.
Last year Akron defeated the Hawks in the regular season 2-1, but Hartwick came out strong in the MAC tournament, sending the game to penalty kicks.
The Zips ended up the victor by putting three penalty kick’s in to Hartwick’s none.
Game time for the Hartwick match is set for 7:30 p.m. at Lee Jackson Field Saturday night.