Successful start to season paying off for men’s soccer

By Terry Rabbitts, Sports Editor

Starting off a season with a 4-1 record would make any team’s coach happy; but when starting off with a threesome of victories over top-ranked opponents, a team starts to gather attention.

The men’s soccer team, fresh off its wins over No. 6 University of Maryland last Monday and No. 14 Saint Louis University on Friday, has risen in the polls.  In the latest College Soccer News Top 30, UA rose from the 22nd spot all the way to seventh.

The UA team also made its season debut in the Top 25, checking in at No. 11 in the latest rankings released on Monday, Sept. 14.

Individually, the Zips’ sophomore Richie Laryea was announced by the Mid-American Conference as the MAC Men’s Soccer Athlete of the Week. This marks the second week in a row that a UA player has won the honor. Last week, Adam Najem received the same award.

Laryea was also named by College Soccer News as a member of its National Team of the Week and as UA’s Student-Athlete of the Week.

Akron returns to its pitch hosting in-state rival Ohio State University on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Game time at FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field is set for 7 p.m.

Last season the two teams matched up in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. In what went down in the record books as a 1-1 double-overtime tie, the Buckeyes were able to advance because of a 13-12 advantage after 15 rounds of penalty kicks.

The Zips had the early lead as Najem scored in the first half, but the Buckeyes tied it in the second half. The teams battled through two overtimes before heading to the penalty kicks.

At the game on Wednesday, the first 1,000 fans will receive a t-shirt. Also, there is a t-shirt trade offer. Anyone who brings an Ohio State shirt to the game will be able to trade it for an Akron shirt.