Akron Captures Fourth Straight MAC Tournament Title

Updated 11/15/2010
Game story courtesy of Akron Athletic Communications

Akron 4, Western Michigan 0
AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron men's soccer team captured their fourth consecutive Mid-American Conference Tournament championship with a commanding 4-0 victory over Western Michigan Sunday at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field.

It is also the fourth straight year, the Zips (18-1-1), who blitzed the Broncos with four second-half goals, claimed both the league's regular-season and tournament titles. The four-goal margin represented the second-most decisive MAC championship game in Akron history.

The Zips were patient with their attack throughout the contest and methodically broke down WMU with a number of highlight-reel worthy goals. Freshman striker Darren Mattocks, who upped his team-leading goal total to 15 with a pair of strikes, was one of many standout performers for UA, which turned in a dominant team effort. 

Akron will not have to wait long to find out who its next opponent is as the NCAA will announce its Soccer Championship selections Monday, Nov. 15, on ESPNU at approximately 4:30 p.m. (ET) The Akron Department of Athletics will host an NCAA Men's Soccer Selection Show Watch Party at the Barley House, located on 222 S. Main Street. Fans are encouraged to attend the free event, which will feature a number of food specials.

Western Michigan (10-8-2) recorded the first two scoring chances of the game early, but both shots were from distance and were easily snuffed out by David Meves. That's essentially all the attack the Zips defense would allow as the Broncos did not attempt another shot for the half and were out-shot 18-6 for the match.

UA took a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute when Kofi Sarkodie launched a deep pass from near midfield to Nagbe, who fired the ball into the upper right corner past Western Michigan keeper Sean Lewis.

A beautiful combination play resulted in the Zips' second goal of the game in the 54th minute. Sarkodie initiated the action with a run near midfield before crossing the ball to Ben Speas, who was running with him on the right flank. Speas then set up the goal with a quick through ball to Scott Caldwell in the middle of the box. Caldwell, who scored his first career goal against Buffalo in Friday night's semifinals, notched goal No. 2 by tucking the ball just inside the near post from 12 yards.

Another combination of precise passes from Anthony Ampaipitakwong and Darlington Nagbe sprung Mattocks in the 56th minute. Mattocks received the second long pass from Nagbe just inside the box, quickly created space and buried the goal from straight on to give the Zips a commanding 3-0 lead.

Mattocks recorded his third multiple-goal performance of the season in the 70th minute by beating Lewis from 15 yards after receiving a pass from Eric Stevenson to provide the game's final margin.

Although the Zips did not score in the first half, they put together a number of dangerous sequences that were foiled by Lewis, who finished with six saves on the night - including four in the opening period.

2010 MAC All-Tournament Team
Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Akron
Scott Caldwell, Akron
Darren Mattocks, Akron
Michael Nanchoff, Akron
Yllson Asani, Western Michigan
Darren Jones, Western Michigan
Pat Schiffer, Western Michigan
Sam Craven, Buffalo
Casey Derkacz, Buffalo
Miguel Rosales, Bowling Green
Sam Galloway, Bowling Green