Broncos stun Zips, end home unbeaten streak

No. 22 Robby Dambrot throwing the ball in.


No. 22 Robby Dambrot throwing the ball in.

By Tyler Novak, Sports Writer

The University of Akron’s men’s soccer team lost it’s first home game in 13 games Saturday Oct. 25, as the Broncos of Western Michigan stunned the Zips with a 1-0 victory.

Akron ( 8-5-1, 2-1 MAC) controlled possession, but struggled to get shots on goal with no shots on goal in the first half. Most of Akron’s attempts were shut down by the Western Michigan’s (8-4-3, 2-0-1 MAC) defense.

Saad Abdul-Salaam had a shot blocked in the third minute and Adam Najem would have another chance to score three minutes later, but it went wide left and into the crowd.

The Bronco’s had their first shot in the 14th minute from Jason Grant but was stopped by Akron’s goalie, Jake Fenlason.

The stalemate would end in the 31st minute when Victor Souto’s turnover lead to a Western Michigan fast break, where Grant would beat Fenlason from the left wing to give the Broncos the lead and the eventual game-winning goal.

Both teams posted four shots in the first half, but only WMU would have a shot on goal. The Broncos would lead 1-0 at the intermission.

The Zips received a free kick from the 25 yard line during the 52nd minute but it went wide right.

Akron’s first shot on goal came in the 81st minute from Abdul-Salaam but  WMU’s Drew Shepherd protected the box. Sam Gainford, provided another attempt on goal in the 85th minute for Akron, but Shepherd would grab his second save of the night. The last attempt came in the 89th minute, off a Clint Caso corner kick which sailed through the box and handed the Broncos a goal kick for the win.

The Zips will end their four-game home stand with Cleveland State (5-9-0).

Cleveland State has struggled late this season, winning just one game in their last five matches.  The Vikings are averaging just one goal a match and are giving up an average of nearly 2 goals per match.

One Viking to be on the lookout for is forward Alec Nagucki, who is leading the Vikings in scoring with 3 goals this season along with his shots on goal percent with .615.

This will be the 51st matchup between the Zips and the Vikings. Akron has won the last 17 of the last 18 matches and leads the series 37-10-3 overall. Akron won last season in Cleveland State 2-1. The match will be Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium.