GREAT LAKES POLL RELEASED:
In the ninth Great Lakes Region poll of 1999, Akron was ranked second behind Indiana, while Kentucky was eighth.
3. Ohio State
4. Western Kentucky
10. Notre Dame
10. Michigan State
UB, NIU ALSO RANKED:
In addition to the Great Lakes Region, which houses the bulk of the league's schools, Buffalo is also ranked this week in the state of New York Region for the ninth straight week at sixth. Northern Illinois is sixth in the Midwest Region following the Huskies' win over Kentucky.
AKRON MOVES UP IN RANKING:
Akron moved up to two spots to No. 12 in the latest NSCAA/adidas poll, which was released Monday. The Zips reached their highest ranking of the year after a win against Marshall. Akron is unbeaten in its last seven matches (6-0-1), including four shutouts.
AKRON NETS ANOTHER TITLE:
For the third consecutive year, Akron claimed the league's regular season title when it defeated Marshall 4-1. It was also the team's fourth title over the last five years. Prior to this year's title, the Zips have advanced to the championship match in each of the years that Akron has won the league's regular season title.
BG READY FOR THE TOURNEY:
Following a strong finish to the end of the regular season, Bowling Green appears to be ready for the upcoming conference tournament. The Falcons, who are the only school to appear in each of the five previous championship matches, are shooting for their fourth championship title. BG owns a MAC tournament mark of 11-2, which is nearly an 85 percent success rate in the postseason tournament.
CARMICHAEL NETS 'EM FOR HERD:
Heading into the tournament, Marshall freshman Byron Carmichael is on a scoring tear. The first-year player leads all rookies with nine goals, including two that he picked up over the weekend. Carmichael is also second in scoring among newcomers with 20 points, trailing only Akron's Torbjrn Birkeland, which is seventh in the league.
WIN FOR NIU BIG IN MANY WAYS:
Northern Illinois' win over Kentucky to close out the regular season was the Huskies third straight and 10th this season. NIU has not won four straight since opening the 1998 season with four consecutive wins. It marked the eighth time in head coach Willy Roy's tenure that the Huskies reached the double digit total in the win column. The victory was also Roy's 125th as Huskie head coach and the 275th of his career. Roy notched 117 outdoor wins while coaching the Chicago Sting of the North American Soccer League and 133 indoor triumphs while heading the Sting of the Major Indoor Soccer league.
WHAT A TIME TO SCORE A GOAL:
Northern Illinois' Robby Berkley and Bowling Green's Matt Lyons picked the right time to notch their first goals of the season. Each tallied a pair of goals in their final regular season matches, with the second goal for both being a game-winner and Lyons' tally occurring in overtime. Prior to Lyons scoring his goals, the junior had tallied only one previous marker in 43 games.
BUTCHER TALLIES YET ANOTHER ONE:
Buffalo senior Steve Butcher tallied his 14th goal of the season in the Bulls' loss to Marshall. Butcher, who is tied for the league lead with NIU's Dan Parisi, has scored at least one goal in three straight matches and seven of his last eight.
THE SUCCESS OF NO. 1 TEAMS:
In the five year history of the men's MAC soccer tournament, the top ranked team in the tourney has had its fair share of pressure but has also enjoyed plenty of success. Three No. 1 seeds have won championships -- Miami (1994), Bowling Green (1996) and Akron (1998) -- while the Falcons won as a No. 2 seed in 1995 and a No. 3 seed in 1997.