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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 3 University of Akron men's soccer team extended a number of impressive streaks Wednesday night in a 2-0 victory against Penn State at Jeffrey Field Wednesday night.
It was the fifth straight win for the Zips, who improved to 8-1-2 overall, and their sixth straight shutout. UA also pushed their run of consecutive shutouts to six matches and has not allowed a goal in its last 481:30 of play.
Akron took control early with a pair of first-half goals from Reinaldo Brenes and Scott Caldwell and held on for the win. With the defeat, PSU fell to 6-4-2 on the year.
The Zips were on the attack from the start of the match and recorded a number of quality chances before breaking through.
The first came in the 16th minute when Brenes banged a shot off the far post from the left flank. Dillon Serna was there with the follow up but PSU keeper Emmanuel Martin dove to his left to punch the ball clear.
In the 23rd minute, a long ball by Robbie Derschang found Serna, who cut through the PSU backline for a breakaway opportunity but the freshman's shot sailed wide of the net.
Akron's persistence paid off in the match's 28th minute when a great through ball from Eric Stevenson left Brenes with space in front of the goal. The junior forward made the most of the opportunity by chipping a shot over the keeper for his sixth goal in his last three matches.
Brenes nearly found the net again just minutes later when Serna slipped him the ball near the top of the box. Brenes followed with a lob shot that Martin pushed just over the cross bar.
Penn State had its best chance - and its lone quality opportunity - of the first half in the 39th minute on a counter attack following an Akron corner kick. A series of passes left Hasani Sinclair with room on the right flank but his shot sailed wide of the far post.
Akron capitalized with less than four minutes left in the first half when Stevenson was brought down in the box to earn the Zips a penalty kick. Caldwell finished to give the Zips a 2-0 lead on his team-leading seventh goal of the fall.
With three saves, UA goalkeeper David Meves earned the 46th shutout of his four-year career. He now trails the school's all-time leader, Evan Bush (48 from 2005-08), by just two.
The Zips out-shot the Nittany Lions 12-10 overall and 5-3 on goal. UA also earned seven corner kicks to PSU's one.
Akron will jump back into Mid-American Conference play Saturday when its travels to Northern Illinois. The Zips and Huskies will kick off at 1 p.m. (ET) at the NIU Soccer Complex.
Zips Notebook: Akron earned just its fourth win at Penn State all-time in a series that dates back to the 1978 season ... the Zips improved to 19-6-5 against schools from the Big Ten under head coach Caleb Porter.