Zips Lose a close one to Wake Forest

By Charles Combestt, c.combestt@gmail.com

With the weather in the mid-70s on Tuesday night, Wake Forest traveled to FirstEnergy – Cub Cadet Field to take on their hardest test of the season so far, our Akron Zips. As a top 15 match-up, the Zips, raking 11th and the Deacons, 7th, stacked the pitch with talent. This was the 8th matchup between the two, the series being tied at 3-3 along with a draw.  (Now 4-3)

The match, starting promptly at 7 p.m., was played in front of another solid crowd of dedicated Zips fans. With the Zips donning white and Wake Forest in black, the teams began a slow and equal attack. As the game got underway, it was clear that the team in black hailing from North Carolina came to play. Akron, led on defense by Akron native Robby Dambrot, Brad Ruhaak and Nate Shultz, held their own. While number 6 for the Zips, Richie Laryea, tried his best to get the offense on a routine rhythm.

With a variety of attacks from Wake Forest mostly on the right side of the pitch, only Jon Bakero was able to pull through with a goal in the first half. Scoring with 24 minutes left in the half off a ball from his teammates, Reeves and Harrison, the Deacons took a commanding 1-0 lead.

Our beloved Zips just couldn’t get it going offensively. The opposing team proved to be quick on defense. A bunch of ill-timed balls and missed opportunities during the first half plagued the #11 Zips. Laryea was able to shine a little light when he cut the ball to the left and put it right behind the keeper. The crowd was able to shine a little brighter afterwards.

After the break, the Zips came back strong on the first possession.

With a called handball in the box, Michael Gamble pushed the score to 2-1. While the Zips try to bring the game back to life they continually went on the offensive. Gainford takes a chance at the goal but comes up short. This would be the case for most of the second half. With multiple corners and chances, Akron just couldn’t convert.

Our Akron Zips fell to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 2-1. Akron travels to sunny California to take on UC Santa Barbra this Friday, returning home next Wednesday the 29th to face Penn State.