Men's soccer tops Western Michigan 3-0

By: Chris Coon

The No. 4 University of Akron men’s soccer team opened up Mid-American Conference play this Saturday when they traveled to Western Michigan, defeating the Broncos 3-0.

The Zips (7-0-2) put Western Michigan away early in the game, scoring three goals in the first 30 minutes of the game and recording their sixth shut out of the season.

With the win, UA extends their conference unbeaten streak to 32 games (30-0-2), the sixth-longest run in NCAA history.

“I was very proud of this team for how sharp they were in the first half,” said UA Head Coach Caleb Porter. “They came out with the right mentality and showed that physical and direct play does not win out against us. Some of the soccer they put together in that first half was special – especially on a slippery field and against a team that was clearly taking a negative approach to the game.”

Offensively, the Zips were led by sophomore midfielder Aodhan Quinn, who had two goals in the game, and senior forward Luke Holmes, who had one. Holmes had an assist in the game as well.

Akron has now scored nine goals in their last three games against the Broncos dating back to last season.

UA out-shot the Broncos 13-6, out-shooting WMU 9-1 in the first half of play. Akron also had a 9-3 shots on goal advantage for the game.

“To get the shutout and create so many attractive sequences leading to goals is a sign this team is starting to figure out the balance of playing soccer but also making sure it is effective in the end result,” Porter said.

It was a career day for Quinn, as he scored two goals in the game, getting on the board for the Zips in the 14th minute after receiving a cross pass from Holmes. Five minutes later, Quinn added to the lead, receiving a pass from junior midfielder Scott Caldwell to put the lead to 2-0.

Last year as a freshman at Bradley University, Quinn scored three goals in 22 matches. Saturday was the first multiple-goal game of Quinn’s career and the Zips’ third multiple-goal performance of the season.

The Zips were able to add to their lead in the 30th minute of the first quarter after freshman midfielder Will Trapp was able to find an open Holmes on the left side of the field, where Holmes was able to get the ball past the keeper near the far post.

Holmes, who had an assist and a goal against Ohio State last Wednesday, had the same stat line this game. For the season, Holmes has two assists and two goals.

With the win over the Broncos, the Zips have earned their sixth shutout of the season. Junior goalkeeper David Meves was credited in the game for three saves.

Overall, Akron improved their record against Western Michigan to 29-2-1 all-time. Porter earned his 97th win of his career in the match, while improving his record against the MAC to 27-1-1 since becoming head coach of the Zips in 2006.

Akron will return to the 2010 national champion site this Wednesday when they travel to No. 10 UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos have a record of 6-3-1 and currently compete in the Big Sky Conference. Kickoff is set for 10 p.m. (ET) on the FOX Soccer Channel.

UA has just one loss during its last 26 regular season road and neutral site matches, compiling a record of 22-1-3. The Zips’ only loss came against Cleveland State (2-1) in the 2010 season.

“This team is really excited to square off against Santa Barbara Wednesday,” Porter said. “I think you will see a confident group take the field with a lot of belief, like they have had in other road games this year.”