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OMAHA, Neb. – The No. 7 University of Akron men's soccer team scored a pair of goals early and held on late in a 2-1 victory over SIU Edwardsville Sunday aftternoon at Morrison Stadium as part of the Ameritas Classic.
With the win, the Zips, who dominated possession throughout the match, improved 2-0-1 on the season while earning their first victory ever against the Cougars in 14 all-time meetings.
For the contest, UA out-shot SIUE 14-4 overall, including a 5-3 margin on-goal, and recorded eight corner kicks while limiting the Cougars to none. It was the first loss of the young season for SIUE, which fell to 3-1-0.
Akron received scoring contributions from a pair of unlikely candidates as Chad Barson and Bryan Gallego each found the net on well-executed corner kick opportunities in the first half.
The first came in the 16th minute following a strong run by Robbie Derschang, who played the ball off an SIUE defender near the end line.
Scott Caldwell sent in the ensuing service that found the head of Chad Barson, who flicked it home from six yards out. It was the fourth goal of the senior's career and first since 2010.
Gallego delivered in the final minute of the half, following the Zips' sixth corner kick of the game. Dillon Serna, who sent the ball in from the right corner, found the sophomore unmarked near the back post. Gallego made the Cougars pay by heading in the first goal of his Akron career.
SIUE, which knocked off No. 19 James Madison last weekend and Rutgers – which received votes for the NSCAA Top 25 – Friday night, didn't go down without a fight however and pulled within one goal in the 75th minute on a breakaway goal by Christian Volesky.
But that's as close as the Cougars would get as Akron finished off the match.
The Zips' 2-0 lead at halftime was indicative of the way they dominated play in the first half with a 10-1 advantage on shots. In fact, SIUE didn't attempt its first shot – a two-bouncer from distance that was easily saved by Zips' goalkeeper David Meves – until the 41st minute.
The second half was much closer as Akron edged out SIUE in shots, 4-3, in the final 45 minutes. Following the match, Gallego, Alfred Koroma – who scored the equalizer in Friday night's 1-1 draw against No. 2 Creighton, and Eric Stevenson were named to the Ameritas Classic All-Tournament Team.
The Zips will continue their four-game road swing next weekend when they head to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Tournament. UA will take on No. 10 Indiana Friday (Sept. 7) at 5 p.m. ET, and the host Fighting Irish Sunday (Sept. 9) at 2:15 p.m. ET.
Zips Notebook: Akron has been defeated just four times in its last 40 regular-season (30-4-6) road matches dating back to the 2008 season ... With the win, the Zips improved to 1-12-1 all-time against SIU Edwardsville. UA and SIUE met for first time since 1969 Sunday ... The Zips have scored seven goals from seven different players this season.