Friday's MAC Men's Soccer Results

Updated 9/18/2010
Friday's MAC Men's Soccer Results
Northern Illinois 2, Holy Cross 1
Robert Morris 2, Western Michigan 0
Akron 3, CS Northridge 0
New Mexico 1, Buffalo 0

Game stories courtesy of MAC Media Relations Departments

Northern Illinois 2, Holy Cross 1
EVANSTON, Ill. - Freshman James Stevenson scored his first career goal and junior Francis Otira headed in the game-winner as the Northern Illinois men's soccer team rallied from a one goal deficit to defeat Holy Cross 2-1 at the Northwestern Lakeside Classic, Friday.

"It's always good to get a result," NIU head coach Eric Luzzi said. "That's why you play the game - to win it."

The Huskies (2-2-1) controlled the game offensively for most of the first half, tallying seven shots with four on goal. Holy Cross (1-3-1) managed just three shots, but Crusader Steven Stefanak beat NIU keeper Nate DuBois with a header to put the Huskies in a 1-0 hole.

"Our initial response wasn't great," Luzzi said. "The rest of the first half we allowed them to turn the game back in their favor."

Northern Illinois rallied in the second half, thanks to a higher level of intensity, according to head coach Eric Luzzi.

"It was energy (that turned the match around)," Luzzi said. "We worked harder in the second half than in the first half."

Stevenson tied the match in the 49th minute. After receiving a back heel from Juan Hoyos, Stevenson slotted the ball into the six-yard box, where it was deflected into the net by a Holy Cross defender.

NIU would take the lead less than six minutes later, as Rocco Taglia found Otira in the box with a long throw. Otira headed the ball home to complete the Huskie comeback.

"It was pretty good of our guys to fight back," Luzzi said. "We had a very good response in the second half against a good team."

The Huskie offense has found a rhythm over the last two matches, scoring four total goals from three different players. NIU won both games, including a 2-0 shutout of Cleveland State.

Northern Illinois improved to 6-2-1 at the Northwestern Lakeside Classic since 2006. The Huskies continue play at the tournament Sunday, when they face Gonzaga at 11:30 a.m.

Robert Morris 2, Western Michigan 0
GREEN BAY, Wis.- Robert Morris scored two second-half goals to hand Western Michigan (4-2-0) a 2-0 defeat Friday at the Green Bay Fall Classic. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Broncos.

"Credit Robert Morris, they stuck to their game plan and made it difficult for us and fully deserved the victory," WMU head coach Stu Riddle said. "We were wasteful in front of the goal in the first half, missing several guilt-edged chances and the goals we conceded stemmed from very poor defending.

"I'm frustrated because we haven't given a good account of ourselves and we will be looking to make it right on Sunday."

Western Michigan entered the contest as the nation's leader in goals scored, having tallied 16 goals in its first five games. However, Western Michigan was also shutout in its only other loss of the season, a 2-0 decision at the hands of Wright State.

WMU outshot Robert Morris in the first half, 7-5, but was unable to make one count. Tied 0-0 at halftime, Robert Morris took a 1-0 lead just 44 seconds into the second half as Miro Cabrillo scored unassisted. The Colonials made it 2-0 with a second goal four minutes later. The Broncos attempted just six shots in the second half.

Sophomores Shane Lyons and Kai Mendes took the bulk of WMU's offensive chances, each placing three shots on goal. RMU keeper Toba Bolaji made seven saves. It was the first win of the season for Robert Morris, which improved to 1-4-0 on the season.

Western Michigan will take on host Green Bay Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The Phoenix, College Soccer News preseason No. 29, faced UNLV Friday night.

Akron 3, CS Northridge 0
AKRON, Ohio - Behind three first-half goals, the No. 1 University of Akron men's soccer team cruised to a 3-0 victory over Cal State Northridge Friday night before a sold out crowd of 4,200 at newly renovated Lee Jackson Field.

It is the second-largest crowd in the 44-year history of Lee Jackson Field. Friday night's match was the second game of The University of Akron Tournament, which concludes with a pair of games Sunday. Illinois-Chicago defeated Cincinnati, 1-0, in the opening match.

With the win, the Zips (4-0) stayed perfect on the season and extended their consecutive shutout streak to nine games, dating back to the 2009 postseason. The streak, which began with a 2-0 win against South Florida in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last fall, matches the sixth-longest streak in NCAA history.

UA also extended its home unbeaten streak to 27 games (26-0-1), which is the longest active streak in the nation and the 10th-longest run in NCAA history.

"It was an electric atmosphere tonight and one of the best environments I've seen in college soccer," said UA head coach Caleb Porter. "It almost didn't feel like a college soccer game; it felt like a professional environment. I thought our guys came to play. The first half was very good. We were especially sharp in the first twenty minutes and got a couple goals. We did what we wanted to do to start the game and get on top and impose our will."

It was a dominating performance by Akron from start to finish. The Zips out-shot the Matadors (0-4-1) 14-5 for the game, including a 10-0 margin in the first half before the reserves took over for the majority of the second half. 

The Zips wasted little time finding the net, scoring a goal in the game's fifth minute.

Darlington Nagbe initiated the action with a shot from the top of the box, which was stopped by Matador's keeper Michael Abalos. But Perry Kitchen was there for the deflection and redirected the ball back post for his second goal of the season.

Nagbe nearly made it 2-0 in the 28th minute after he beat his man and fired a low bouncer that glanced off the far post. But he atoned for his misfortune by finishing off a beautiful sequence just seconds later.

Chris Korb sparked the play with a run down the left side of the field and crossed the ball to Anthony Ampaipitakwong, who left it for Nagbe with a one-touch pass. Nagbe, who was streaking down the middle of the field, punched it past Abalos from eight yards out for his team-leading third goal of the year.

Nagbe was involved in the Zips' third goal of the first half as well when he was brought down from behind to set up a 25-yard free kick for Ampaipitakwong from the left side. Chad Barson made Cal State Northridge pay by putting a head on the ball in the 43rd minute as Akron took a 3-0 lead into the half.

Akron will next host in-state foe Cincinnati Sunday in the fourth and final game of The University of Akron Tournament. The Zips and Bearcats will kick off at 2:30 p.m. (ET) at Lee Jackson Field.

New Mexico 1, Buffalo 0
ALBUQUERQUE, NM - The University at Buffalo men's soccer team lost a defensive battle to New Mexico, 1-0, in the first round of Lobo Classic on Friday night. The Bulls (3-3) and Lobos (3-1-1) combined for just four shots on goal in the contest.

New Mexico scored the game's only goal in the 42nd minute as Josh Coffey netted the game winner past UB goalkeeper Nick Fetterman following a corner kick. Fetterman had one save in the match as UB's defense stiffened in the second half and did not allow a shot by the Lobos in the final 45 minutes.

The Bulls had their only two shots on goal early in the second half as attempts by Rich Wilson and Andy Tiedt were turned away by Lobo keeper Victor Rodriguez in the 47th and 52nd minutes, respectively.  New Mexico outshot the Bulls 8-2 in the contest.

UB concludes the Lobo Classic on Sunday afternoon against UC Santa Barbara at 1:00 pm (ET).