Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Saturday's Men's Soccer Scoreboard - 10/20
Akron 2, West Virginia 1
Bowling Green 0, Northern Illinois 0
Akron 2, West Virginia 1
AKRON, Ohio – The No. 3 University of Akron men's soccer team earned a 2-1 victory over West Virginia Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field in a key clash between the top two teams in the Mid-American Conference.
With the win, the Zips (11-1-2, 5-0-0 MAC) earned a big leg up on the Mountaineers (8-4-2, 3-1-1 MAC) in the chase for the league's regular-season championship and the right to host the conference tournament. As a result, UA will have the opportunity to clinch its eighth consecutive regular-season title with a win or tie in either of its last two league matches at Hartwick (Oct. 27) or against Western Michigan (Nov. 3).
Akron scored single goals in each half – the first from Reinaldo Brenes in the fifth minute and the second from Scott Caldwell in the 50th minute – to push its win streak to eight matches and unbeaten streak to nine.
WVU became the first opponent to score a goal at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field in seven home matches this season in the 52nd minute when Zips goalkeeper David Meves lost his footing and couldn't make a play on a shot by Majed Osman from the top of the box. Ironically, it was the only shot allowed by UA in the second half.
It was also the first goal allowed by the Zips in their last nine matches, snapping a string of 713 consecutive scoreless minutes.
Nonetheless, Akron earned the result despite intermittent rain, which was heavy at times, and a slippery field. For the match, Akron out-shot West Virginia 8-6 overall and 5-2 on goal.
UA wasted little time establishing control with the match's first goal at the 4:09 mark. Bryan Gallego recorded the first assist of his career by sending a long ball from beyond midfield to Brenes, who took the pass in stride on the left flank and chipped the ball over WVU goalkeeper Pat Eavenson, who had come off his line.
It was the eighth goal of the season for Brenes, who has done all his scoring in the Zips' past five matches.
Alfred Koroma opened a flurry of activity with a long run early in the second half. After shaking his mark, the true freshman left the ball for Aodhan Quinn, who fired a low liner past Eavenson toward the right corner of the net from 12 yards out.
Quinn's shot was cleared off the line by a WVU defender but Serna gained possession on the left side of the field before crossing it to Caldwell, who slotted the keeper from straight on to give the Zips a 2-0 lead at the 49:35 mark. It was also the eighth goal of the season for Caldwell, who netted his second game-winner on the year.
WVU cut the lead in half at 51:30 but that's as close as it would get.
Akron will begin its final road trip of the regular season next week, starting with a match at Ohio State Tuesday at 8 p.m. (ET). The contest will be broadcast locally and on-line by Fox Sports 1350 AM (WARF) as well as televised nationally by the Big Ten Network.
Northern Illinois 0, Bowling Green 0
DEKALB, Ill. -- Senior goalkeeper Jordan Godsey (Ocean Springs, Miss./Ocean Springs) recorded his fifth shutout of the season, and the 31st of his Huskie career, and the Northern Illinois men’s soccer team played to a 0-0 draw against Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon at the NIU Soccer Complex. Godsey’s shutout extended his school record for career clean sheets.
“It’s another game where I felt like we did enough to win by three or four goals,” said NIU head coach Eric Luzzi. “The guys battled, they played hard, played the better of the soccer, limited (Bowling Green’s) chances and we created a half-dozen (chances). I just told the guys that they need to manage their frustration so that they don’t heap extra pressure on themselves because we continue to do 90 percent of the work right, we just have to do the last 10 percent of finishing chances.
Godsey was called into action for the first time in the match in the 18th minute. Off a long free kick, Bowling Green’s Zach Lemke flicked a header toward the Huskie goal that was easily collected by the senior goalkeeper.
Godsey finished the match with four saves.
Northern Illinois (3-8-3, 2-1-1 MAC) had its best chance of the first half through junior James Stevenson (Falkirk, Scotland/St. Mungo’s) in the 31st minute. Stevenson controlled a free kick at the back post and had an opportunity to open the scoring, but Bowling Green goalkeeper Michael Wiest did well to smother the chance.
The Huskies held an 8-5 lead in shot after 45 minutes.
Just five minutes after the intermission, sophomore Isaac Kannah (Plymouth, Minn./Prairie Seeds Academy) had an excellent chance, firing a low shot through bodies in front of the Bowling Green goal. His shot looked as if it would open the scoring, but it was cleared from the goal line at the last minute by a Falcon defender.
In the 84th minute, the Huskies again looked as though they would break the deadlock. Freshman Matt Pritchard (Omaha, Neb./Creighton Prep) struck a low drive at the Bowling Green goal that was cleared off the line by the Falcon defense.
Kannah had another chance for the Huskies in the 88th minute as NIU went forward quickly off a Bowling Green turnover. Kannah’s shot from just inside the penalty area was held by Wiest and the contest finished 90 minutes scoreless.
NIU held a 16-10 advantage in shots through regulation time.
Pritchard had the only chance in the overtime that needed a save. His effort in the 106th minute was denied by Wiest as the match finished even.
Prior to the contest, Northern Illinois honored its five seniors: Godsey, defender Mike Mascitti (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South), forward Hooman Shams (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield), defender Pat Sloan (Lisle, Ill./Benet Academy) and defender Rocco Taglia (Caledonia, Ill./Boylan).
NIU will return to action on Wednesday, Oct. 24, when the Huskies travel to Evanston, Ill., to face 24th-ranked Northwestern. Game time against the Wildcats is scheduled for 6 p.m.