Game story courtesy of Western Michigan Media Relations
Western Michigan 1, Akron 0
AKRON, Ohio- Sophomore midfielder Darren Jones blasted the game-winning goal off a direct free kick in the 54th minute to lead Western Michigan to a 1-0 victory over Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference Tournament Semifinals. No. 2 seed WMU will face No. 1 Akron Sunday in the championship game at 4 p.m.
Bronco freshman goalkeeper Sean Lewis made five saves, posting his fourth shutout of the season. Jones' goal was his third of the year, finding the left upper 90 from 20 yards out at 53:12. WMU oushot BGSU, 16-9, including an 11-6 margin in the second half.v
With the win, WMU improves its record to 10-7-2 overall, the first double-digit win total since 2003.
"We have an elated group of young men here and rightfully so," said second-year head coach Stu Riddle. "They have all worked so hard to be in this position and I am thrilled for everyone involved in the program.
"The pressure is off us, Akron has a fantastic side and we will enjoy the opportunity to play them in front of a big crowd in a MAC final."
This will be the third trip to the MAC Championship game in school history. Western Michigan won the title in 2003 and lost to Akron in the final in 2004.
Akron, ranked No. 2 in the nation, advanced to the championship game with a 3-1 win over No. 4 seed Buffalo Friday. The Zips are the host of this year's tournament, held at Lee Jackson Field.
The Broncos played Akron tough in the regular season, losing by a narrow 2-1 margin, as the Zips scored one of their two goals on a controversial penalty kick. Freshman Oliver Mayer scored for the Broncos, it was the first goal Akron allowed in MAC play.