Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Akron 2, Northern Illinois 1
West Virginia 0, Western Michigan 0
Bowling Green 1, Hartwick 1
Belmont 1, Buffalo 0
AKRON, Ohio – The No. 18 University of Akron men's soccer team moved one step closer to securing their ninth-consecutive Mid-American Conference regular season championship with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Northern Illinois Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
After being honored as one of five Zips' seniors in a pre-game ceremony, Robbie Derschang made his Senior Night even more memorable with the game-winning goal in the 76th minute. It was his first goal of the season.
With the victory, UA (11-3-1, 4-1-0 MAC) secured a berth to the MAC Tournament, which will be hosted by the No. 1 seed on Nov. 15 and 17, and can claim the league's regular season crown with a win at Western Michigan in the regular-season finale on Nov. 9.
With the score tied at 1-all late in the second half, Adam Najem, who scored UA's first goal in the 12th minute, slipped a quick cross to Derschang on the near right flank. Derschang took a quick touch before firing a shot that zipped across the goal and inside the far post.
Fittingly, all four seniors who played made a positive impact as UA improved to 4-0-1 in its last five matches. The team's leading goal scorer and senior, Reinaldo Brenes missed his third straight match with a leg injury.
The Zips jumped on top early thanks to Najem's fourth goal in his last five matches at the 11:25 mark. Derschang initiated the play by running a ball down on the left side of the field before crossing it to Saad Abdul-Salaam, who redirected it to Najem in front of the net.
The freshman stayed hot by burying his shot from 12 yards out to give Akron a 1-0 lead. Najem is now tied with Brenes for the team lead in goals scored with four. Moreover, all four of Najem's goals have come in the month of October.
Akron's lead was short lived however as Huskies' junior striker Isaac Kanaah slipped through the Zips' back line and skipped a shot by UA goalkeeper Fernando Pina in the 15th minute. Akron nearly got the goal right back just three minutes later when Najem perfectly left the ball for Matt Foldesy but Foldesy's liner from the wing banged off the left post.
Nonetheless, it was another dominant showing in the stat sheet for UA, which out-shot NIU 18-4 overall and 5-1 on goal. The Zips also posted an 11-2 margin for corner kicks.
Akron will look to continue its winning ways when its jumps back on the road for a mid-week match at Michigan Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET.
Zips Notebook: Seniors Brenes, Derschang, Zac Portillos, Aodhan Quinn and Eric Stevenson were each recognized for their accomplishments at Akron and given framed jerseys prior to the match ... NIU's goal was just the second allowed in the first half by the Zips all season and first since San Diego State did it on Sept. 15 ... Akron, which is 8-1-1 in its last 10 matches, improved to 10-2 in contests decided by one goal this fall ... UA has won nine straight matches against NIU and improved to 18-3-1 all-time against the Huskies in a series that dates back to the 1990 season.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia University men’s soccer team posted its third-consecutive shutout en route to a 0-0 draw on Saturday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
West Virginia (6-6-4) outshot Western Michigan, 11-5, including three shots by sophomore Jamie Merriam.
Merriam had two of WVU’s three best chances, beginning with a flick on frame in the 39th minute that was saved by Western Michigan goalkeeper Chase Rau. In the 100th minute Merriam nearly ended it after great perseverance by junior Andy Bevin. Bevin took on four Western Michigan defenders and passed to his right where Merriam narrowly blasted a shot over the goal.
The Mountaineers had a golden chance to get an early lead in the 19th minute after Bevin was taken down in the box, drawing a penalty kick. Sophomore Majed Osman stepped up to take it and had his attempt stopped by Rau.
The Broncos’ best chances came late in the second overtime. Connor Furgason headed a shot that was stopped by WVU freshman Alex Ochoa on the goal line for a team save. Moments later Ryan Lemasters hit the post and had the rebound go to Furgason, whose shot went over the goal and out of play.
WVU now has two games remaining in the regular season, both MAC matches. On Friday, Nov. 1, WVU will travel to Buffalo for a 7:30 p.m. match.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Senior Ryan Comiskey's goal midway through the second half lifted the Bowling Green State University men's soccer team to a 1-1, double-overtime draw with Hartwick College on Saturday night (Oct. 26). The Mid-American Conference match was held at Cochrane Field.
The Falcons, now 5-6-5 overall and 2-1-1 in MAC play, fell behind with just over a half-hour gone, as the Hawks (4-7-3, 2-2-1 MAC) got a goal from Matthew Robertson after an HC corner kick. BGSU equalized on the Comiskey goal, which also came after a corner.
The Falcons and Hawks played to a double-overtime draw for the fourth time in as many series matches at Cochrane Field.
Saturday's match marked the eight BGSU contest this season to require overtime, tying the school record. Five of the Falcons' seven home games to date have gone to OT.
The match also marked 'Senior Night' for the Falcons, as the program's 10 seniors were recognized in pregame ceremonies. While a few drops of rain began to fall in the moments just prior to the 'Senior Night' festivities, the skies opened up when the National Anthem singer took her place on the Cochrane Field pitch. A hard rain fell for much of the opening half.
On the night, BGSU had an 18-11 advantage in shot attempts, and a narrow 7-6 margin in shots on goal. But, the Hawks took the lead with just under 33 minutes gone. Hartwick's Rio Dhat took a corner kick, and the ball sailed into the penalty area, but was knocked back out toward Dhat. He collected the ball and played another cross into the box.
BGSU senior goalkeeper Michael Wiest came off his line and leaped for the ball. As Wiest came down in traffic, the ball was knocked from his grasp, and it fell directly to Robertson at the top of the box. The senior quickly fired a shot that found the back of the net, giving the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
The Falcons tied the match on a play very similar to the Hartwick goal. Senior tri-captain Brandon Silva took a corner kick from the southeast corner of the field, the same corner where Dhat had taken his corner that led to the Hawks' goal.
Silva's ball into the box hit a defender, but dropped to the feet of Comiskey on the far side of the six-yard box. The senior made no mistake, putting a shot past HC 'keeper Mateo Munarriz. Silva drew the assist on that goal, which came at the 66:15 mark.
Comiskey's goal came less than two minutes after he had checked into the match for the first time.
One of the Falcons' best chances of the opening half came with only a minute gone. After a foul on the Hawks within the first 30 seconds of the match, the home team lined up for a free kick several yards outside the penalty area. Junior Danny Baraldi took the kick, and fired a laser that forced Munarriz to leap and tip the shot over the crossbar.
With 11 minutes gone, Falcon sophomore Ryan James won the ball and slid a pass to senior Zach Schewee on the left side. Schewee headed into the box with a defender just inches behind him, and the senior hit a shot that Munarriz grabbed at the near post.
Senior Anthony Grant fired a shot over the bar after a pass by classmate Sean Sikich in the 19th minute, and a James effort also sailed high three minutes later.
After the Hawks scored, Hartwick looked to double that lead with eight minutes to go before the intermission. But, Wiest made an acrobatic diving save of a Nick Hills blast that seemed ticketed for the left side of the goal.
As the clock ticked down toward the one-minute mark, Vlad Lekarev made a right-to-left run on the Hartwick side of midfield, and the junior played a ball to senior Rodcliff Hall. But, Hall's shot went over the goal, and the Hawks took their one-goal lead into the intermission.
Ten minutes into the second half, Grant was fouled very near the penalty area on the left side. Baraldi's ensuing free kick sailed into the box, where it met the head of a Falcon, but Munarriz blocked the shot out of bounds.
As the match neared the one-hour mark, another Baraldi kick found Lekarev heading down the right side of the field. Lekarev took the ball to the end line, then slid a short pass toward Grant. Grant, with a defender closely marking him, played a nifty backheel that glanced off the defender, went past Munarriz and rolled slowly along the goal line. But, a Hartwick defender was the first to reach the ball, clearing it out of the box.
At the other end, just over a minute later, Hills hit another hard shot that was blocked out of play.
The Comiskey goal was the first of four shots in a row for the Brown and Orange. Included in that stretch were a Silva shot on goal after a steal in the 73rd minute. Then, the Falcons quickly got the ball back, and Schewee found Grant heading along the top of the box. Grant fired a shot across his body, but the ball went just wide of the far post.
Grant and Comiskey nearly connected on a through ball with 15 minutes to go, but the play was whistled down for offside.
At the other end, a short diagonal ball was deflected on goal by the Hawks' Will Broomfield, but Wiest made the stop with 13 minutes to go in regulation.
Comiskey very nearly scored his second goal of the night with 12 minutes left in the second half. A ball was played ahead for Grant, who blew past a would-be defender in pursuit of the ball. Munarriz ventured way off of his line to reach the ball before Grant, but the Hartwick 'keeper knocked the ball directly to Comiskey. Munarriz kept running away from his goalmouth, heading toward Comiskey, but the senior chipped a ball over Munarriz. The shot, taken from roughly 40 yards away from goal, bounced once and went inches wide of the right goalpost.
Eight minutes remained in the half when the Hawks threatened. The Falcons were unable to clear a ball out of the penalty area, as one attempt hit a BG teammate, and another try was blocked by a Hartwick player. But, after taking a short pass from a teammate, Jack Miller fired a shot over the goal from only about eight yards out. The teams headed to overtime.
While the Hawks' had the lone shot attempt of the first overtime (a shot from distance by Hills that was saved by Wiest), the Falcons had the only two corners, and the visitors committed a key blunder late in the period. The Hawks' Tim Crawford was issued his second yellow card of the match with only one second remaining in the period, meaning the Hawks were forced to play a man down during the second overtime.
In that final OT period, Grant blocked a clearing attempt by the Hawks, and Lekarev ran onto the ball on the left side. He headed into the box and hit a shot that went just wide as both Munarriz and a defender converged.
That shot came with seven minutes to go. Midway through the period, Munarriz again strayed far out of his goalmouth to break up a BG chance. After Comiskey and junior Jon Kumher had exchanged passes, the HC 'keeper charged out and knocked the ball away as he collided with a Falcon. The clock was stopped with 5:13 to go, as Munarriz was momentarily shaken up, but he remained in the game.
With three minutes remaining, Baraldi took a pass from sophomore Jake Genrich and hit a rocket that was deflected by a defender, then parried by Munarriz. The junior 'keeper knocked the ball into the air, but wound up catching it on the goal line as no fewer than three Falcons charged toward him.
One of the best chances of the night came with a minute to go. The Falcons put several passes together, with senior Ryan Snashall and junior Jon Kumher involved. Kumher found Schewee streaking down the left sideline. Schewee, marked by a Hartwick back, took the ball to the end line, then cut back and hit a cross toward the far post. Grant met the ball in the air and hit a bullet of a header, but the shot sailed just wide of the post.
The Hawks had one final chance, but Wiest easily gathered a shot by Hills as the clocked ticked down under 10 seconds. The save was Wiest's fifth of the evening.
Munarriz made a total of six saves in his complete-match effort for the Hawks.
The Falcons now have a week until their next match, heading to Western Michigan for a Saturday (Nov. 2) contest which begins at 1:00 p.m. Then, the Brown and Orange will play the final home game of the regular season, hosting IPFW on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 7:00 p.m. The regular season ends with a match at West Virginia on Saturday night, Nov. 8.
NASHVILLE, TN - Plagued by a handful of near-misses on the offensive end, the Buffalo men's soccer team wrapped up the 2013 non-conference schedule Saturday evening with a road match against Belmont. Russell Cicerone had three shots hit the post in the run of play for UB (3-10-3), including one in the waning minutes of regulation.
The freshman forward led all players in shots, taking four in the match with two on goal. He had a shot hit the post in the seventh minute, then in the 15th minute he put another shot on frame that was barely pushed aside. Belmont would capitalize on a collision in the box in the 39th minute to score the game's lone goal.
In the second half, Cicerone put a shot on frame in the 70th minute that was also saved. Marek Albert would put a challenge on goal in the 82nd minute, but his effort was also denied. In the 89th minute, Cicerone would find the post for the third time - the fourth post shot for the team in the game - and a follow-up attempt would spoil wide as the final seconds ticked away.
The season now comes down to the final two matches, starting on Friday with the home finale against West Virginia. The Bulls welcome in the Mountaineers for Senior Day, as the team will bid farewell to senior Jesse Andoh and Marek Albert. First touch will be at 7 pm.