Preview courtesy of Akron Athletic Communications
AKRON, Ohio - The third-seeded University of Akron men's soccer team will make their fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance when they host West Virginia in second-round action Sunday at 4 p.m. at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field.
NCAA TOURNAMENT Second Round: Akron Zips (18-1-1) vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (11-7-2)
Sunday, Nov. 21
- 4:00 p.m. (ET) | Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field Akron, Ohio
Radio: 1350 AM (WARF) | Television: None. | Internet Stream: Zips Zone (Free) | Live Stats: GoZips.com
NCAA Tournament All-Access
General admission tickets are on sale now for Sunday's match and can be purchased for $10 (adult) and $5 (youth; ages 3-14). To purchase your tickets, go online via the ticketing page on GoZips.com, call 1-888-99-AKRON (25766) or stop by the ticket table on the day of the game.
- If you are unable to attend, you can listen to all the action locally on 1350 AM (WARF). Steve French (play-by-play) and Pablo Moreira (color) will have the call.
- GoZips.com will offer live stats as well as a live video stream, both free of charge.
Akron At The NCAA Tournament
Sunday's game will mark the 25th time the Zips have qualified for the NCAA Tournament, dating back to 1961. It will also represent the 15th time they have hosted a game.
- The Zips went 3-0 at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field in the tournament a year ago, posting victories over South Florida (2-0) in the second round, Stanford (2-0) in the Round of 16 and Tulsa (1-0) in the quarterfinals.
- UA will be making its fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament under fifth-year head coach Caleb Porter, the 2009 NSCAA National Coach of the Year. The Zips have earned first-round byes all four years and have advanced to the Round of 16 in each of the last three.
- Porter led Akron all the way to the national championship game in 2009 - marking the Zips' second ever appearance in the NCAA final. UA, which has never won a team national championship in any sport, also advanced to the final in 1986 where it was defeated by Duke, 1-0.
- Akron's No. 3 seed represents the second-highest designation achieved in Akron history and the sixth time the Zips have been seeded overall. UA was the No. 1 seed in 2009, No. 5 in 2008, No. 14 in 2007, No. 9 in 2005 and No. 15 in 2003.
About West Virginia
The Mountaineers (11-7-2) are making their 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament and their first since 2007. WVU defeated Xavier, 4-2, in Thursday's first round in Morgantown but it wasn't without dramatics as it had to rally from an early 2-0 deficit for the win.
- A corner kick goal in the 4th minute and an own goal in the 5th had the upstart Musketeers smelling blood in the water. But WVU's Franck Tayou scored a pair of goals to tie the game before halftime then completed the hat trick in the 50th minute to rally his team to victory. Uwem Etuk added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute.
- WVU posted a 5-4 record in the Big East Conference, which landed seven teams in this year's tournament. In all, West Virginia went 2-3 against top-25 teams this season with victories against UNC Wilmington (3-2) and Notre Dame (2-1). The Mountaineers, who went 0-2 against ranked opponents on the road, were defeated by Louisville (0-2) in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.
- In all, WVU was just 1-5-2 in away games this fall and 0-1 at neutral sites.
- West Virginia is 4-10-0 all-time in tournament play. West Virginia's deepest run at the tournament was in 2007 when it reached the Sweet 16 before falling to eventual national champion Wake Forest.
West Virginia Series Notes
Sunday's game will mark the 11th meeting between Akron and West Virginia and the ninth time they have met at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field.
- The Zips, who lead the all-time series, 7-2-1, have won the last four meetings dating back to 1983 season, including a 1-0 victory against the Mountaineers in 2008 as part of The University of Akron Tournament.
- Akron has faced West Virginia just once in the NCAA Tournament. The Zips posted a 5-0 win in the second round of the tourney in 2005 at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field, where they are 6-1-1 against the Mountaineers all-time. The start of the game was postponed one day due to unplayable field conditions (snow).
Defending the Home Front
UA is unbeaten in its last 36 home matches (35-0-1), - including conference tournaments and postseason play - which is the longest active streak in the nation and matches the third-longest (Indiana, 198-92).
- With a win Sunday, Akron would move into sole possession of third place on the all-time list. A different Hoosiers team, which went unbeaten in 38 straight home games from 1982-85, owns the second-longest streak. Tulsa went unbeaten in 39 consecutive home games from 1988-92 to set the NCAA standard.
- But that's not the only record, Akron is chasing as it has now won 25 consecutive matches (including conference tournaments and postseason play) at home, dating back to 2008. This is ranked fourth on the NCAA's all-time list.
- The Zips are 10-0 at home this season where they have out-scored opponents 32-3.
- Akron is 53-2-3 (.940) in 58 games at Lee Jackson Field under Caleb Porter.
- UA is 7-0 against top-25 teams (NSCAA) at home since the start of the 2009 season including postseason matches. The Zips have defeated No. 2 Tulsa (4-0) and No. 9 Creighton (1-0) this fall.
Dispelling The Mid-Major Myth
Since 2005, the Zips have posted the best winning percentage in the nation with an overall record of 104-14-13 (.844). But it is important to note that while Akron plays in what is considered to be a mid-major conference (Mid-American), it has played anything but a mid-major schedule.
- In fact, the Zips have recorded a top-10 RPI in each of the last four years under Caleb Porter (No. 4 in 2010, No. 1 in 2009, No. 5 in 2008 and No. 10 in 2007) and a combined 5-0-1 record against the ACC and Big Ten Conference this fall. In the past two seasons, UA has posted a combined 8-0-1 record against the Big Ten alone.
- Furthermore, UA went unbeaten against eight teams (7-0-1) that qualified for this year's NCAA Tournament. The Zips defeated Creighton (1-0), Michigan (7-1), Michigan State (1-0), North Carolina (3-0), Oakland (5-0), Penn State (2-1) and Tulsa (4-0) this fall by a combined score of 23-2 and played Ohio State to a 2-2 draw.
- Last season, Akron defeated six teams (St. Louis, Indiana, Ohio State, Tulsa, Penn State, Michigan State) that qualified for the NCAA Tournament, out-scoring them, 13-1, during the regular season.