Women’s soccer starts MACtion with rivals

Women%27s+soccer+squad+before+game.

GoZips.com

Women’s soccer squad before game.

By Tyler Novak, Sports writer

Its MAC rivalry week for the women’s soccer team as Akron (4-3-1) takes on two MAC foes in the first week of MAC competition. The Lady Zips are coming off three consecutive overtime matches as the Zips have found a way to win two of those matches, including last week’s thriller against Youngstown State, as well as tying Boston University 1-1. The Lady Zips are 2-0-1 in their overtime matches. The first rival the Zips face, are the Bobcats of Ohio (3-5-0) September 26th down in Athens. Then the Zips head to rival Kent State (5-2-1) on Sunday September 28th as the Lady Zips look to add the first point to the Wagon Wheel Challenge. This is the first time in six years the Lady Zips enter MAC play with a winning record.

THE COMPETITION:

Ohio:

After coming off two wins at home against Eastern Kentucy (2-7-0) and Detroit (2-4-1), the Lady Bobcats fell to Dayton (4-5-1) 4-0 last week. Ohio has two overtime losses as well this season; losing their first match of the season to Butler (6-4-0) 3-2 in 2OT and later losing to Xavier (3-5-2) 3-2 in 2OT as well. Their streaky start creates questions about how well this Ohio team is going to play heading into MAC play. The Bobcats need to take control of the game early and capitalize on early chances. Sophomore midfielder Carly Manso has begun this season off on the right foot, as she was named MAC co-offensive player of the week just two weeks ago. Manso has two goals on the season, along with 1 assist.

Kent:

After coming off a 3-0 victory against Eastern Kentucky, The Flashes have been clicking on all cylinders, as they are second in the MAC East, going into conference play. The Women Flashes started the season off strong with a 3-0 win against Western Illinois (1-8-0) before losing a close 1-0 match to St. Bonaventure (4-5-1). The Flashes would go on a 3 game 1-0 Winning spree against St. Francis (0-9-1), University of Colorado (7-2), and Cleveland State (5-4-1) before losing again to Louisville (4-4) 3-2. They also tied Oakland 1-1 before defeating EKU. While the Flashes have not won convincingly, they have been finding a way to win when it counts, with their biggest win coming against a strong Colorado team in the UNLV Invitational. Look for Kent to continue its consistency into MAC play, as they take on Buffalo (4-2-1) before facing the Zips. Goalie Stephanie Senn has been leading the Flashes this season through all 8 matches. She has totaled 41 saves already this season and only allowed 5 goals this season. Senn also has 5 shut outs this season

LAST MEETINGS:

Ohio:

Akron and Ohio tied in their last meeting last season 2-2 2OT. Look for the Zips to come out in their first MAC match, in search of their first MAC win and redemption after last season’s tie.

Kent:

The Zips were shut out last season against the Flashes in Kent as they struggled to find group against their rival. This will be a highly intense match up as Akron heads into Kent for the second straight year. Both teams are on the rise looking to maintain their spot atop the MAC East Standings.

Akron Stars:

After receiving MAC Co-Defensive Player of the week, junior goalkeeper Klaire Adee has been shutting out her opponents behind goal. Adee has held onto 3 straight overtime wins, including last week’s match against Youngstown State and also received her first shutout against the Penguins. Adee has 17 saves this season.

With the winning goal in overtime against Youngstown State, senior Karina Atkinson has become another threat for teams to watch out for. Atkinson was the holder of the highest on on goal percentage last year with .727 percent. This season Atkinson has started all 8 games for the Zips and has to goals and 1 assist this season.