September 22, 2012

Men's Soccer Tops Bowling Green in MAC Opener, 2-0

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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio
– The No. 10 University of Akron men's soccer team earned its third straight shutout in a 2-0 win over Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference opener for both schools Saturday night at Cochrane Field.

With the victory, the Zips (5-1-2, 1-0-0 MAC) moved into sole possession of third place on the NCAA's list for the longest conference unbeaten streak. Akron, which started the day tied with Indiana (1995-2000), has now gone 39 straight league matches without a loss, dating back to the 2007 season.

Akron was on the attack throughout the match, posting a 30-10 advantage in shots, including a 14-3 edge in the first half alone. With the loss, the Falcons fell to 2-4-2.

The Zips wasted little time jumping on Bowling Green with a goal in the 18th minute. Alfred Koroma, who had just entered the game, took a short pass from Dillon Serna and buried a shot from just outside the box. It was the second goal of the season for the true freshman, who had missed the previous two matches with a leg injury.

Akron added to its lead just two minutes later when Scott Caldwell created some space just inside the penalty area and fired across the goal into the back left corner of the net from straight on. It was the team-leading fifth goal of the season for Caldwell, who scored twice in the Zips' last match against South Florida last weekend.

The Falcons tried to catch up early in the second half, earning four corner kicks and as many shots in the first 12 minutes following the break. But the Zips were up to the task and quickly regained control of the match.

Akron had a number of chances to strengthen its lead – earning 10 shots on goal – but couldn't convert. Nonetheless, it was a dominating effort for the Blue and Gold, which improved to 41-2-3 against the MAC under seventh-year head coach Caleb Porter.

Eric Stevenson finished with a career-high nine shots for the match. Caldwell earned seven shots, while Serna had five.

Reigning MAC Player of the Week, David Meves finished the night with six saves – though many of BGSU's shots were from distance – to earn the 43rd shutout of his career. He now trails the school's all-time leader Evan Bush, who recorded 48 by just five. 

The Zips will continue MAC play next weekend when they host Buffalo Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

Zips Notebook: Akron has defeated Bowling Green 12 straight matches, dating back to the 2003 season ... The Zips have also shut out the Falcons in their last six meetings, out-scoring BGSU 19-0 during that time .... UA improved to 82-1-3 when scoring two or more goals and 100-3-4 when scoring first under Coach Porter ... Akron, the preseason favorites to win the MAC, are winners of the past seven MAC regular-season titles.