Saturday's MAC Men's Soccer Result
Akron 2, Western Michigan 1Game story courtesy of Akron Athletic Communications Department
Akron 2, Western Michigan 1
AKRON, Ohio - The No. 1 University of Akron men's soccer team gutted out a 2-1 victory over Western Michigan Saturday at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field in front of 3,873 fans.
With the win, the Zips (13-0-1, 5-0-0 Mid-American Conference) captured their sixth consecutive MAC regular-season championship and will host the MAC Tournament on Nov. 12 (semifinals) and Nov. 14 (final).
UA extended a pair of impressive streaks Saturday. The Zips are unbeaten in their last 28 league games (26-0-2), which matches Indiana (1996-2000) for the second-highest run in NCAA history. Akron is also unbeaten in its last 33 home matches (32-0-1), which is the fourth-longest streak in NCAA history.
Akron had the game's first scoring opportunity in the 19th minute when a through ball from Kofi Sarkodie sprung Darren Mattocks on the right flank. Mattocks turned and fired from 18 yards but his shot banged off the far post.
The Zips were unlucky once again in the 38th minute when Mattocks was one-on-one with the keeper but hit the crossbar after a series of quick passes from Chad Barson and Scott Caldwell.
Akron out-shot Western Michigan, 8-0, in the opening half and had other opportunities but the Broncos defense was up to the task, thwarting a number of UA restarts. It was just the second time the Zips were kept off the scoreboard in the first half this season.
The Zips attack produced a penalty kick in the 50th minute when a Broncos' defender was called for a hand ball in the box. Michael Nanchoff buried the ensuing kick to give UA a 1-0 lead.
Western Michigan (7-5-2, 2-1-0) attempted to net the equalizer shortly after on corner kick but was denied each time. Following a volley in the box, Shane Lyons got a head on the ball from 12 yards but Anthony Ampaipitakwong was there to make the team save for Akron.
WMU collected the deflection and Lyons had another look but this time UA keeper David Meves gobbled up the mid-ranged blast.
The Zips made it 2-0 in the 70th minute on Ben Speas' first goal of the fall. After a deep run down the right sideline, Sarkodie crossed the ball to Speas, who tucked his shot just inside the far post from 12 yards.
The significance of the goal was revealed just seconds later when Oliver Mayer found the goal that had eluded the Broncos earlier with a chip shot over the head of Meves from nine yards.
Akron will host No. 10 Creighton Wednesday night at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field. The Zips and Blue Jays will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on SportsTime Ohio.