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AKRON, Ohio – The No. 7 University of Akron men's soccer team rolled to its fourth consecutive win and fifth straight shutout Friday night in a convincing 5-0 victory over Florida Atlantic at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
While out-shooting the Owls 23-5, the Zips (7-1-2, 3-0-0 Mid-American Conference), who have not allowed a goal in their last 391 minutes of play, extended their league unbeaten streak to 41 matches (38-0-3), which represents the longest active streak in the nation and the third-longest run in NCAA history.
In all, it was the seventh shutout in 10 matches for UA, which did not allow a shot on goal for the second game in a row. With the loss, Florida Atlantic fell to 1-8-1 overall and 0-3-0 in the MAC.
Leading the attack for the Zips were juniors Reinaldo Brenes and Eric Stevenson, who each contributed two goals and an assist. True freshman Dillon Serna also found the net and added an assist to round out the scoring.
Brenes, who recorded the first hat trick of his career last weekend against Buffalo, picked up where he left off just nine minutes into the match when he headed home a cross from DeAndre Yedlin to give Akron a 1-0 lead.
Stevenson then followed with his first of two first-half goals in the 20th minute. Scott Caldwell initiated the play from midfield with a through ball that found Stevenson, who created space with a short run and slotted the FAU keeper from the top of the box.
Caldwell and Stevenson connected again for Zips' third goal, coming in the 27th minute. In a similar play, Caldwell slipped the ball Stevenson, who made the turn and launched a low liner across the goal to the far corner of the net.
The Zips added two more goals, both of the spectacular variety, in the second half.
The first came in the 56th minute when Brenes played a ball to Serna on the right side of the field. Serna made a quick move to his right to shake his man, then cut to the left before firing a rocket into the back of the net from 18 yards out.
The Zips' fifth and final goal of the night may have been their most impressive. A combination of quick passes from Serna to Stevenson left Brenes with a clear path to the goal in the 61st minute. With the keeper coming off his line, the Coasta Rican chipped the ball into the net for his fifth goal in Akron's last two matches.
After playing their last two games at home, the Zips will jump on the road for a pair of contests at Penn State next Wednesday and at Northern Illinois next Saturday.
Zips Notebook: By pushing their league unbeaten streak to 41 matches Friday, the Zips now trail Clemson (42) by just one for second place on the NCAA's all-time list and Furman (46) by five for the top mark ... Zips' goalkeeper David Meves recorded the 45th shutout of his career against the Owls and trails UA's all-time leader Evan Bush, who recorded 48 clean sheets from 2005-08, by just three ... Akron has out-scored its last four opponents, 16-0, and has yet to allow a goal at home in five matches.