“The University of Akron’s men’s soccer team won the Akron tournament this weekend with a 1-0 win over number eight ranked Indiana and a 4-0 win over St. Louis. On Friday night, the Zips played in front of a record attendance. There were 2,443 in the stands to watch the battle between the Zips and the Hoosiers.””
The University of Akron’s men’s soccer team won the Akron tournament this weekend with a 1-0 win over number eight ranked Indiana and a 4-0 win over St. Louis.
On Friday night, the Zips played in front of a record attendance. There were 2,443 in the stands to watch the battle between the Zips and the Hoosiers.
Crowd noise for the game was a vital part in the Zips win as the AK-Rowdies filled up the hill behind the goal and blew horns reminiscent of a World Cup qualifying match.
They were absolutely tremendous tonight, Head Coach Caleb Porter said. Maybe that was a little bit of the edge we needed.
The first half of the game was slow and it seemed as though Akron and Indiana were just trying to get a feel for each other.
Akron held a slight advantage in shots at 6-3 with while also leading in shots on goal at 2-1.
I thought they could have caught us a few times, Porter said. Mostly on long throw ins and a couple of counter attacks, but I thought it was a pretty even first half.
The second half was a little more eventful as Akron looked to attack, racking up five corner kicks.
Forward Teal Bunbury, who led the team in shots for the game at four, took two shots during the Zips attack in the second half.
What made the difference in the game was a free kick by midfielder Michael Nanchoff in the 77th minute of the game.
The shot was from 23 yards out and caught the side of the net for the score.
I had a real good feeling about it, Nanchoff said. Our coach always talked about winning the moment, building up to it, and winning each and every little play and that’s what it came down to.
After the goal, things were easy sailing for the Zips the rest of the way. The work of the back line and goalkeeping proved to be superior.
Defender Kofi Sarkodie played tough defense and even experienced a few encounters with his brother Ofori who is a defender for Indiana.
Every time we play its friendly fire, said Kofi. I tried to go at him one versus one. He took me a couple of times, but I’m one up on him now so I’m going to brag about it when we get home.
The Zips finished with an advantage on shots at 10-7.
I was really proud of the way we played in the second half, Porter said. Not to take anything away from Indiana because they have a very talented team, but with the players we have, I really felt that if we continued to control the flow of the game we would eventually find a goal from someone. I was very pleased with our energy and focus when the game was on the line and we looked like the team that wanted to decide the result.
On Sunday, the Zips offense was in full force in a 4-0 win against St. Louis.
The first half was summed up by a goal by Forward Darlington Nagbe. Sarkodie fed Nagbe the ball from midfield perfectly to set up Nagbe with a put in from nine yards out that went near post.
That first goal was key because Saint Louis is at their best when the game is tied or when they have a lead, Porter said. For us, scoring early really opened the game up.
The second half showed the dominance of the Zips offense.
To start things off, Teal Bunbury found the net on a cross from Sarkodie in the 53rd minute.
Around the 70th minute, Bunbury found the net again after standing at the top of the box and challenging the defender.
Scoring was rounded out as forward Yoram Mwila was fed a ball by Nanchoff for an easy put away in the bottom left corner of the net.
The Zips dominated shots on the day by a count of 21-3.
If we are on the ball enough, we are going to find the seams, Porter said. That’s what happened today and we were able to put the game out of reach.
The Zips return to action this Saturday as the begin MAC play versus the Bowling Green Falcons. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.