Zips escape Northern Illinois with narrow win

“The University of Akron’s men’s soccer team improved to (13-0-0 4-0-0 MAC) with a 1-0 win over the Northern Illinois Huskies Friday night. The win represents another notch on the programs best start in school history. The game started off slow as the weather was in the 30s, and the playing conditions of the field were slow as well.”

The University of Akron’s men’s soccer team improved to (13-0-0 4-0-0 MAC) with a 1-0 win over the Northern Illinois Huskies Friday night.

The win represents another notch on the programs best start in school history.

The game started off slow as the weather was in the 30s, and the playing conditions of the field were slow as well.

Northern Illinois had a few chances early in the game, but only posted three shots and one shot on goal in the first half.

The defense of the Zips proved once again that they are a huge reason that the team is so successful.

I thought our back two, Zarek and Chad, were very sharp, head coach Caleb Porter said. Every time they tried to counter us they pretty much dropped off and won the ball and we were able to get back on the ball again and do what we do.

Akron finished the half with eight shots but failed to put in a goal against the Huskies.

The Zips also gathered four corner kicks in the half.

The second half was dominated by the Zips from start to finish as they held the Huskies to no shots.

Akron started the half on the attack, gathering three corner kicks in under five minutes.

Although the Zips started out on the attack, it was not until the 70th minute when the score changed in Akron’s favor.

Forward Darlington Nagbe was taken down a couple inches outside of the box to bring up a free kick for Akron.

Midfielder Michael Nanchoff, who leads the team in assists, was chosen to take the free kick.

Northern Illinois put just about everybody possible in the box to try and stop the shot, but Nanchoff struck the ball right between the defenders legs and into the net.

I saw a little gap and decided to smack it home, Nanchoff said. Sometimes you hope for a deflection and sometimes it goes in.

It’s all about patience, Nanchoff said. Our coach talks about patience non-stop and eventually leading up to it we’ll find a way.

The goal was Nanchoff’s fourth on the year.

The rest of the game consisted of ball control for the Zips.

Akron had a few more shots, but the Zips goal was to maintain their lead.

This is the type of game we’re seeing a lot, Porter said. We knew going into the game that every foul was going to be flighted in the box, and that’s how they were going to look to score goals.

I think the nice thing is that we were not vulnerable in those moments, we dealt with it well and I thought through the run of play we completely dominated.

The shutout was Akron’s 11th and was also goalkeeper David Meves’ 11th clean slate in goal.

The perfect Zips will next travel up North to take on the Michigan Wolverines of the Big-Ten conference.

Michigan is the last Big-Ten team besides Penn State that Akron will play this year.

It’s going to be a tough game, Porter said. Michigan is having a good season and they play in one of the top conferences, the Big-Ten, and they are doing very well.

Going on the road, it’s going to take a good performance to get a result, but at the same time I think we’re up for it and we’re looking forward to it.

Last year, Akron defeated the Wolverines at Lee Jackson Field by a score of 1-0.

Midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong had the goal in that game and he will be looking to add to his goal count on Oct. 20.