Men's Soccer Plays Wake Forest to 2-2 Draw
AKRON, Ohio – Despite a 20-10 advantage in shots, the No. 7 University of Akron men's soccer team played Wake Forest to a 2-2 draw Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
The Zips (12-2-3), who led 1-0 and 2-1, were four mintues away from victory when Demon Deacons freshman Sam Fink headed in the equalizer at the 86:01 mark. Wake Forest, which was the first ACC team to play at Akron since 1993, improved to 8-6-3 with the draw.
UA had a couple of chances to win the game after regulation but Deacs goalkeeper Michael Lisch, who finished with six saves on the night, turned away shots by Darren Mattocks and Thomas Schmitt. In all, Akron out-shot Wake Forest 6-1 during the two overtime periods.
Schmitt, who was a spark off the bench all night, wasn't denied in the first half however when he gave UA a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute on the first of two corner kick goals by the Zips.
Junior Scott Caldwell's service deflected off a wall of Wake defenders but Schmitt was there to collect it and sent it by Lisch from straight on. It was the fifth goal of the season for Schmitt, who has now scored in back-to-back contests after also finding the net in UA's win against Bowling Green Wednesday.
Wake Forest pulled even in the 65th minute when Sean Okoli finished a through ball from Ben Newnam. But Akron answered with what appeared to be the game-winner 10 minutes later when Reinaldo Brenes recorded his first career goal on a header off another great service from Caldwell.
The two teams played to a fairly even first half despite UA's 1-0 lead but the Zips were the more dangerous team after the break, out-shooting the Deacs 18-8 during that time – including the two overtime periods.
Sophomore Eric Stevenson nearly put Akron up 2-0 in the 56th minute by skipping a shot headed just inside the far post from the left flank. But Lisch made a great diving glove save to turn him away.
The Zips will play their final home game of the regular season Wednesday night when Michigan State comes to campus for a 7:30 p.m. kick off.
Zips Notebook: With the tie, the Zips extended their NCAA home unbeaten streak to 48 matches ... Michael Balogun, Matt Dagilis and Luke Holmes were recognized prior to kick off Saturday as part of Senior Night. Balogun and Dagilis each earned starts while Holmes contributed 27 minutes in reserve ... Akron is 2-2-1 all-time versus Wake Forest.