By: Chris Coon
On Sunday night, The No. 4 University of Akron men’s soccer team defeated Cal Poly 1-0, while improving their record to 4-0-2 in the final game of The University of Akron Tournament.
Junior midfielder Scott Caldwell scored his fourth goal of the season for the Zips off a penalty kick in the 83rd minute for the game winner. Caldwell is now tied with Darren Mattocks for first in team goals.
The Zips, who extended their NCAA-record home unbeaten streak to 42 games (39-0-2) were unable to bring the tournament trophy home, falling short to New Mexico in goals scored by one goal. New Mexico won their tournament game earlier in the day against Syracuse 2-1, while scoring a total of three goals in the tournament compared to UA’s two.
“This was a big win; it was a gutsy win,” UA men’s soccer Head Coach Caleb Porter said in his post-game conference. “Credit to Cal Poly. They came in and they fought hard. They’re a good team.”
Both teams were locked in a stalemate going all the way into the second half until sophomore midfielder Aodhan Quinn passed the ball from just beyond midfielder DeAndre Yedlin, who was able to create space and draw a foul, setting up a Caldwell penalty kick.
“Coach tells me when we have the ball at midfield I should just run because he said I am faster than anyone we play against,” said Yedlin. “[Feighner] beat me to the ball actually, but somehow I got around him and then in front of him, and then the foul happened.”
Caldwell has had a total of nine goals in the past 14 games dating back to the 2010 post-season.
“Quinn got the ball and played a great pass,” Porter said. “Yedlin, this kid has got talent. We are real excited about him. He is just scratching the surface of what he is capable of doing and being. He showed his pace … and then we knew Scotty [Caldwell] would score it. He doesn’t miss those.”
Following the game, junior defender Chad Barson, freshman midfielder Will Trapp and Caldwell were named to The University of Akron All-Tournament Team.
Junior goalkeeper David Meves recorded three saves, while UA’s defense held Cal Poly to just seven shots, three of them being on goal. This was also the Zips’ fourth shutout in six games.
In the first half of the game, both teams were unable to establish anything on offense. The Zips did, however, have possession of the ball the majority of the time, while out-shooting Cal Poly before the half 7-4.
In the 40th minute of the game, the Mustangs threatened to score when George Malki shot the ball, ringing the cross bar from the top of the box.
With the win on Sunday, Porter now has a total of 94 career wins in six years as head coach at UA.
Akron will return to play this Saturday at Tulsa with kickoff slated for 8 p.m. The Zips’ next home game will be against No. 23 Ohio State on Sept. 28. at First Energy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field.