Zips soccer complete holiday weekend sweep

By Terry Rabbitts and Feben Yeshak

The Zips men’s soccer team (3-1-0) registered victories over No. 4 Georgetown University on Friday and No. 6 University of Maryland on Monday, Sept. 7. The Zips are now ranked No. 22 in the latest College Soccer News poll.

On Friday against Georgetown, junior Adam Najem found the back of the net at the 62:54 mark of the game and the Zips defense completed the 1-0 win against Georgetown. Sophomore Nate Shultz had the assist on Najem’s goal.

Goalkeeper Jake Fenlason recorded the shutout and was responsible for five saves in the contest.

Against Maryland, Najem scored again to put the Zips on the board at 21:41, but the star of the game was sophomore Richie Laryea. Laryea assisted on Najem’s goal, but later added to unassisted goals of his own as the Zips prevailed 3-2.

Laryea scored his first tally in the 38th minute to give Akron a 2-0 lead. His last came at the 82:49 mark with the Zips clinging to a 3-1 lead.

Maryland notched a goal to close the gap to 3-2 but the defense of Akron held the rest of the way to complete the weekend sweep. The victory was the third straight for the Zips after opening the season with a 4-1 loss to Old Dominion University.

It was the first time since opening the championship season of 2010 that Akron has beat two top ten opponents on the road.

Before the game, the Mid-American Conference announced that Najem was named the MAC Men’s Soccer Athlete of the Week.

The men’s team will return home to FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field after two wins on the road, hosting No. 14, Saint Louis University on Friday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. This game will be the 1,000th match in the program history. Gates will open at 6 p.m.

After the game with Saint Louis, Akron will host The Ohio State University on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

The last time UA faced OSU was during the 2014 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. The Zips and Buckeyes were tied at the end of the match, sending it into overtime. After a double overtime and 15 rounds of penalty kicks, the Buckeyes were able to advance and end the Zips’ season.