Quest For the Second Star

Quest For the Second Star Akron Earns 5th Seed for the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament


The Akron Men’s Soccer team gathers at the James A. Rhodes Arena for the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship Selection Show with students and faculty. Photo Courtesy of The University of Akron Department of Athletics)

By Robert Corts, Sports Contributor

The 2017 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship Selection took place Nov. 13 and it featured the Mid-American Conference champions, The University of Akron Men’s Soccer team. The Zips earned the No. 5 national seed and will host the winner of the Washington and Seattle match in the second-round on Sunday, Nov. 19 at FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field.

“You wanted a top four, you wanted the three home games but it’s a really good seed,” head coach Jared Embick said on the draw. “When you break down the bracket, there’s a lot of familiar teams in there that we have played and done well against. If we have the chance to play them, we can take that belief into the game and use that as a motivating factor of what we can accomplish here.”

Akron will make its 11th consecutive and 32nd overall tournament appearance this campaign. Akron, Indiana, Maryland and Virginia are the only programs that have qualified for the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship tournament in each of the past 11 seasons.

The Zips look promising coming off their MAC Championship victory over Western Michigan. With this win, the team has won ten consecutive matches, their last loss was in early October against the Broncos, 1-0.

“We’ve all been here before,” senior forward Sam Gainford said after the selection. “I need to lead by example and we have a lot of seniors here on the team that knows what needs done.”

Gainford and fellow Zip forward Stuart Holthusen have scored a total of 17 goals this season, 10 of those goals being in their last five matches.

The first round of the tournament will take place on Thursday, Nov. 16, featuring Seattle and Washington.

(Bracket courtesy of NCAA)

According to, tickets are available now by calling or texting the Akron ticket office at 888-99-AKRON (25766) or visiting The C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field (located at 375 E. Exchange Street, near Gate 1 at the southwest corner of the venue, at the corner of E. Exchange and S. Union streets) Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

750 free tickets will be provided to University of Akron students with a valid Zip Card (limit one per Zip Card). Tickets can be picked up at the FirstEnergy Stadium gate on Sunday with a valid Zip Card. Additional tickets are $15 for reserved seats, $10 for general admission and $35 for a family four pack of general admission tickets.

Season ticket holders can purchase their same seats for the NCAA games by calling our texting the ticket office. All additional information on the NCAA Tournament can be found on