Saturday's MAC Men's Soccer Result
Akron 2, Bowling Green 0Game story courtesy of Bowling Green Media Relations Department
Akron 2, Bowling Green 0
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The University of Akron, the top-ranked team in the nation, got a goal in the 64th minute to break a scoreless draw, and the Zips went on to a 2-0 victory over the Bowling Green State University men's soccer team Saturday afternoon (Sept. 11). The match, the Mid-American Conference opener for both schools, was held at Cochrane Field on the BGSU campus.
With the win, the Zips improve to 3-0-0 on the young season. Akron's other wins also came on the road, against a pair of top-ten programs. The Falcons drop to 0-1-2 overall.
The Brown and Orange went toe-to-toe with the Zips, battling to a nil-nil stalemate for over two-thirds of the match. The Zips finally broke through when Kofi Sarkodie poked home a rebound at the 63:17 mark. Darren Mattocks, who assisted on that goal, gave the visitors some insurance with a goal in the 81st minute.
The Falcon defense, led by junior goalkeeper Miguel Rosales and the team's two center backs -- senior Thomas McLean and junior Tanner Fink -- frustrated the UA offense for the entire first half and the first third of the second. Rosales made 11 saves, while McLean and Company blocked numerous other shots.
The Zips had a lopsided 13-2 advantage on corner kicks -- including a 10-0 margin in the first half -- but did not score off of any set pieces. Fink, in particular, headed numerous UA corners out of the BG end in the opening half.
Akron had a good scoring chance with under two minutes gone in the match. A diagonal ball by Mattocks found Sarkodie on the doorstep. Sarkodie got a foot on the ball, but Rosales made the point-blank save.
Several minutes later, it was the Falcons' turn to threaten. Freshman Ryan Snashall won the ball in the Akron end of the pitch with fewer than four minutes gone. Snashall brought the ball in along the left side and found classmate Ryan Comiskey with a pass. Comiskey, who was a thorn in the Zips' collective side all day, uncorked a hard shot, but UA 'keeper David Meves made the stop.
That was BGSU's best scoring opportunity of the opening half, visitors would have many more chances over the remainder of the first 45 minutes. The Zips outshot the Falcons, 16-1, in the first half of play.
On an overcast day at Cochrane Field, a light rain began to fall midway through the first half. The Zips kept the pressure on the BG back line, but Rosales made seven first-half saves as he and his teammates kept the visitors off the scoreboard.
With 18 minutes left in the period, Rosales made a spectacular diving stop of a shot by Darlington Nagbe. Rosales was fouled by an Akron player as they both went for the rebound. The BG 'keeper was momentarily shaken up, but stayed in the match.
Several minutes later, Thomas McLean played a long free kick into the Akron penalty box, but Meves grabbed the ball before any of the Falcons could get a head on it.
The Zips nearly got on the scoreboard on a deflection. A cross by Chris Korb was blocked by McLean, but the ball deflected up in the air and toward the goal. Rosales was forced to make a leaping effort to parry the ball just below the crossbar, and he then punched the ball away just nanoseconds before a UA striker arrived.
BG's final chance of the first half came in the final minute before the break. Senior Dusko Topolic put a ball into the box but it skidded on the wet grass and was just out of reach of junior Colin Armstrong. The teams went to the half knotted in a scoreless draw.
The Zips held a 16-1 advantage in shots in the first half. But, when the second half began, the Falcons went toe-to-toe with their top-ranked opponents.
With two minutes gone in the half, Comiskey caught up to a ball played into the Akron end by a BG teammate. The Falcon freshman got a step on his defender, moved into the penalty box and fired, but his shot was just wide of the frame.
Four minutes later, junior Max Weston won the ball in front of his team's bench. He passed to Comiskey, who hit a long shot that went just high.
Quickly, the Zips countered, as Michael Nanchoff ripped a shot just over the crossbar less than 40 seconds later. But, five minutes after that, the Falcons had what may have been their best chance of the day.
A loose ball came to Comiskey in the penalty area, and his shot forced Meves to make a point-blank save to prevent the Falcons from taking a second-half lead. Two minutes later, Comiskey hit another shot from distance, and the UA goalie just got his fingertips on the shot to deflect it wide.
With 27:47 left in the match, Fink was injured on a collision in BG's defensive end, and the junior tri-captain was forced to leave the pitch. Just over a minute later, Akron got on the scoreboard.
Mattocks, who led all players with six shot attempts on the afternoon, uncorked a shot that forced Rosales to make a diving stop. The ball trickled to Rosales' left, and Sarkodie was the first player to reach it. The UA All-American poked it into the net from approximately one yard away.
Fink was able to return to the match several minutes later, missing just over three minutes of time. By the time Fink came back onto the pitch, the Zips were employing a 'four corners' type of offense, controlling the ball in the midfield area while time ticked off the Cochrane Field clock.
The visitors got some insurance with just under 10 minutes remaining, courtesy of Mattocks. The UA freshman made a nice move in the box to elude a defender, then saw his low shot carom off the far post and into the net.
The Falcons could not cut into the lead over the final 564 seconds, and the Zips had their eighth consecutive shutout, dating to last season. UA has not allowed a goal in over 840 minutes, against opponents including North Carolina (twice), Wake Forest, Virginia, Tulsa, Stanford and South Florida.
The Zips had a total of 29 shots to the Falcons' six on the day, and Akron had a 13-3 advantage in shots on goal. Mattocks, as mentioned, led all players with six shot attempts, while UA's Nagbe and McKauly Tulloch and the Falcons' Comiskey had five apiece. Comiskey, Mattocks and Tulloch each had three shots on net.
Meves made three saves in goal for the Zips, while Rosales, as mentioned, had 11 stops for the home side.
The Falcons hit the road for a pair of matches next week, taking on Detroit on Wednesday (Sept. 15) and Valparaiso on Sunday (Sept. 19) night. BG's next home match is against Wright State on Wednesday, Sept. 22, the first game of a three-game homestand.