“The University of Akron men’s soccer team set goals before the 2007 season. They included winning the Mid-American Conference regular season title, winning the MAC Tournament and earning an NCAA Tournament birth. Coming into the team’s tournament game Friday, the Zips had already won the MAC regular season, its 10th overall.””
The University of Akron men’s soccer team set goals before the 2007 season.
They included winning the Mid-American Conference regular season title, winning the MAC Tournament and earning an NCAA Tournament birth.
Coming into the team’s tournament game Friday, the Zips had already won the MAC regular season, its 10th overall.
Following double-overtime wins on Friday and Sunday, the Zips can check off the last two as well.
I think it’s important to define the reason your players are working hard every day, head coach Caleb Porter said. If you have something to look forward to, something you’re trying to achieve, I’ve found that your players tend to dig a little deeper because they know why they’re working hard.
On Friday and Saturday, the Zips had to dig deeper than they have all season in the MAC Tournament at Lee Jackson Field.
The Zips beat Northern Illinois Friday 2-1 in double-overtime to advance to the championship game of the MAC tournament. Goals by freshmen Michael Nanchoff and Steve Zakuani kept the team’s hopes for a tournament title alive.
In another double-overtime game Sunday, freshman Anthony Ampaipitakwong scored the game-winning goal against second-seeded Buffalo. The shutout was the 35th in junior goalkeeper Evan Bush’s career.
The victories meant an automatic birth into the NCAA Tournament.
We played two very tough teams that were fighting for their lives trying to get an automatic birth, Porter said. There were a lot of seniors on the field that didn’t want to go down easy. They laid it on the line, but our players, in the end, believed a little bit more.
Nine players were named to the All-MAC team with senior Corey Sipos earning the MAC Player of the Year honors.
Freshman Steve Zakuani was named MAC Newcomer of the Year and Caleb Porter earned the MAC Coach of the Year award.
Seniors Elliot Bradbrook and Steve Kalan, juniors Ossie Michalsen, Evan Bush and Mat Tutich and freshmen Anthony Ampaipitakwong and Steve Zakuani were also selected to the All-MAC team.
Senior Pablo Moreira was named second-team All-MAC.
This is without question a special group. Some years, things just seem to fit and the chemistry, unity and spirit of this group is some of the best I’ve seen, Porter said.