Preview courtesy of Akron Athletic Communications
AKRON, Ohio -
The third-seeded University of Akron men's soccer team, which has been defeated just once during the regular run of play in its last 46 matches, will host Indiana Sunday at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Zips and Hoosiers will kick off at 4 p.m. (ET) NCAA Tournament All-Access
Akron At The NCAA Tournament
- 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 SportsRadio 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.
- By defeating West Virginia last weekend, the Zips advanced to the Round of 16 for the sixth time in school history and the fifth time in seven years.
- It is the third consecutive season UA has advanced to the NCAA's Third Round after defeating Ohio State, 1-0, in double overtime in 2008 and South Florida, 2-0, in 2009.
- The Zips are currently competing in their 25th NCAA Tournament, dating back to 1961. Sunday's game will mark the 16th time they have hosted a game.
- UA is 2-2-1 all-time in Round of 16 match-ups and owns an overall record of 13-23-3 (.372) in the NCAA Tournament. Akron has fared much better recently, however, with a 4-2-1 (.643) mark since 2008.
- 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 is 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.
Indiana Series Notes
- The 14th-seeded Hoosiers (10-7-2) are making their 24th consecutive appearance in an NCAA Tournament and their 35th overall.
- Indiana, which defeated Tulsa, 5-1, in its second-round match-up, has advanced to the third round of the tournament for the third straight year. IU was ousted by fifth-seeded North Carolina (1-0) in the Round of 16 of last year's tournament.
- Andy Adlard, Nikita Kotlov, Harrison Petts and Will Bruin each scored goals to lead the Hoosiers to their win over Tulsa last weekend in Bloomington. Bruin, who is second in the nation with 18 goals, scored twice and assisted two others.
- Indiana's seven losses matches the most among the current 16-team field still competing in the tournament. The other two teams with seven losses are also from the Big Ten Conference: Michigan State (13-7-1) and Penn State (14-7-1).
- IU is 4-3-1 in away games this season and 1-1 at neutral sites.
- Sunday's game will mark the 31st meeting between Akron and Indiana and the 13th time they have met at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field.
- The Zips trail the all-time series 5-23-2 but are 2-1-1 against the Hoosiers since 2003, including a 1-0 victory at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field last season.
- Akron is still looking for its first postseason win against Indiana after being denied in its previous four meetings. UA was defeated by IU during the NCAA postseason in 1976 (1-2), 1983 (1-2, OT), 1985 (0-2) and 1998 (2-3, 2OT). All but one meeting (1983) was in Bloomington.
- The Zips are 2-10 all-time versus the Hoosiers at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field.
- A goal by Michael Nanchoff in the 77th minute lifted the Zips to a 1-0 victory over then-ranked No. 8 Indiana in Akron in the teams' last meeting in 2009. Nanchoff's game-winner came on a direct free kick from the top of the box. For the game, UA out-shot Indiana, 10-7.
- UA head coach Caleb Porter was a star midfielder for the Hoosiers from 1994-97 before beginning his career in Major League Soccer.
- Porter returned to Indiana as an assistant coach in 2000 and won back-to-back national championships with the Hoosiers in 2003 and 2004.
- Porter played for legendary coach Jerry Yeagley and coached along side current IU coach Todd Yeagley, Jerry's son.
- UA head coach Caleb Porter shared his thoughts on Sunday's match.
- "Obviously, I have deep ties to IU and there is a lot of mutual respect between the two programs. But this will be business as usual and we will be taking the same approach we have taken all year. We have played the toughest non-conference schedule in the country, five programs of which are still in the Round of 16, so this will be nothing new for us."
- "Certainly, a big key in this game will be to contain Will Bruin. He's had a tremendous year and will have a bright future at the next level. At the same time, our backline has seen most of the other top strikers in the country and they know Bruin very well as we played IU last season and also in the spring. Outside of being extra aware of Bruin we will do what we always do. There are no secrets here. They have heard and seen how we play and we know them inside and out as well. We have tremendous respect for IU and know they are a strong side but we will focus mostly on playing our game. We will play Akron soccer for 90 minutes and look to control the game on both sides of the ball with our possession, transition and pressure."
- "Our team is brimming with confidence and our players are very hungry to get to Santa Barbara. At the end of the day, no matter who we play, Indiana is in our way from us accomplishing our ultimate goal and our players are determined to not let anything or anyone stop us. Of course, having experience in the tournament is very important and certainly to have 9 of 11 starters and several more off the bench having played in the national championship game last year will be invaluable. We are a seasoned team and we know how to win in the tournament when there is no tomorrow. Over the last several years, our group of players have found ways to win in tight games more than any other program and having this type of belief will be crucial when the margin for error gets slim. You see it every year. Some teams cave in under this pressure and others seem to be unfazed. Our guys have proven last year and all this year they thrive in these type of games."
"Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field has been very unforgiving to opposing teams in the past three years. I expect an electric atmosphere with this much at stake. This is going to be an entertaining game to watch and we are hoping that everyone on campus and in the community comes out to "Fill the Hill and Pack the Jack."Porter vs. The Big Ten
Defending the Home Front
- Indiana is one of five Big Ten schools still alive in the NCAA Tournament. No. 16 seed Ohio State is at No. 1 Louisville; Michigan State is at No. 4 North Carolina; No 10 Michigan is at No. 7 South Carolina; and No. 15 Penn State is at No. 2 Maryland.
- The Zips earned a result against four of those five Big Ten teams (Akron did not face Indiana during the regular season) and are 11-1-3 against the conference since 2008.
- Akron picked up road wins at Michigan State (1-0) and Penn State (2-1, 2OT) and defeated Michigan (7-1) at home this season. The Zips also earned a 2-2 tie at Ohio State.
- The last Big Ten team to defeat UA was Northwestern, which edged the Zips 1-0 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament in 2008.
- UA is 12-4-5 (.690) all-time versus teams from the Big Ten under fifth-year head coach Caleb Porter, who played and coached at Indiana prior to arriving on campus in 2006.
- Akron went a perfect 5-0-0 against the Big Ten in 2009 as part of its NCAA record-tying 23-game winning streak.
Mattocks On The Attack
- UA is unbeaten in its last 37 home matches (36-0-1), - including conference tournaments and postseason play - which is the longest active streak in the nation and the third-longest in NCAA history. Coincidentally, with a win Sunday, the Zips would match the 1982-85 Indiana team for second place on the all-time list.
- 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 26 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.
- With a win Sunday, the Zips would also match the 1996-99 Indiana team that won 27 straight home games for third place in the record book.
- The Zips are 11-0 at home this season where they have out-scored opponents 35-5.
- Akron is 54-2-3 (.941) in 59 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.
- First-year striker Darren Mattocks continues to establish himself as one of the most dangerous scorers in the nation. Among freshmen nationwide, Mattocks, who has tallied 17 goals in 21 matches, trails just one player in scoring - Michigan's Soony Saad, who has 18 goals in 21 games (0.90).
- Among all scorers, Mattocks is tied for fourth nationally with 17 goals, one behind Indiana's Will Bruin and three behind Division I leader Corey Hertzog from Penn State.
- If possible, Mattocks has been even more dangerous in the postseason. The Jamaican striker scored a goal and assisted another in UA's MAC semifinal game against Buffalo then scored two goals in back-to-back games in the MAC Final against Western Michigan and the NCAA Tournament Second Round match-up with West Virginia.
- To put Mattocks' achievement into perspective, former UA players and current Major League Soccer stars Steve Zakuani, who was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy in 2008, and Teal Bunbury, who won the award in 2009, each recorded six goals during their entire freshman campaigns with the Zips.
- Mattocks' current goal total matches Bunbury's tally from a year ago, which led all Division I scorers.
- Moreover, many of Mattocks' goals this season have been game changers as he has netted a team-high five game-winners. He was denied what would have been a sixth game-winner at Ohio State when the Buckeyes tied the match with two seconds left in regulation.
- Mattocks enjoyed a torrid streak from the end of September to the middle of October when he scored nine goals in an eight-game stretch, including game-winners in back-to-back contests at Oakland and at Northern Illinois.
- The Zips entered the week ranked No. 2 in the nation in scoring offense (2.67 goals/game) and No. 4 in goals-against-average (0.51). They are the only school in the country to be ranked in the top five for both categories.
- Akron has excelled at drawing first blood in games under Caleb Porter. In fact, the Zips have scored first 82 times in 109 all-time games (75.2 percent) since 2006 and are 80-1-1 (.982) when doing so.
- Along those lines, the Zips have trailed in just four games this season (at Ohio State, at Penn State, at Cleveland State and at Hartwick) for a combined total of 28 minutes and 23 seconds.
- Akron, which has yet to trail at home in 2010, trailed the Buckeyes for 8:25 before earning a 2-2 draw and the Nittany Lions for 1:04 before claiming a 2-1 double-overtime victory. The Zips then trailed Cleveland State twice for a combined 9:29 before falling 2-1 on Oct. 30 and trailed Hartwick for 9:25 before scoring two goals to defeat the Hawks on Nov. 6.
- In fact, UA has trailed in just six games since the start of the 2009 season - a span of 40 games and 3,686 minutes and counting - for a combined total of 72 minutes and seven seconds. Coincidentally, half of those games have been against Hartwick.