Men's Soccer Heads South for Two Games in Florida

Men's Soccer Heads South for Two Games in Florida

Follow Akron Men's Soccer on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat: zipsmsoc

AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron men's soccer team heads south to the Sunshine State to take on South Florida on Thursday followed by a match at Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday.

Match #2: Akron Zips (0-1) vs. South Florida (0-1)
Date/Time: Sept. 4, 2014  •  7:30 p.m. ET
: Corbett Soccer Stadium  •  Tampa, Fla.
: None  •  Radio: None
Live Stats: GoUSFBulls.com  •  Video Stream: GoUSFBulls.com (Paid)

Match #3: Akron Zips (0-1) vs. Florida Gulf Coast (1-0)
Date/Time: Sept. 6, 2014  •  7:30 p.m. ET
: FGCU Soccer Complex  •  Fort Myers, Fla.
: None  •  Radio: None
Live Stats: StatBroadcast.com  •  Video Stream: AmericaOneSports.com (Free)

Tracking the Zips
• Live stats will be available for both matches at the links above.
• Additionally, a paid video stream will be available, courtesy of Bulls Athletics, at GoUSFBulls.com for the game at South Florida. A free video stream will be available, courtesy of Eagles Athletics, at AmericaOneSports.com for the game at Florida Gulf Coast.
• Follow @ZipsMSoc on Twitter for updates during the match as well as insider access throughout the season.

For Starters
• The Zips started six freshmen (Robby Dambrot, Richie Laryea, Sam Gainford, Stuart Holthusen, Nathan Quirk, and Nate Shultz) against New Mexico, and seven new players overall (including junior Danilo Radjen).
• Junior goalkeeper Jake Fenlason, who won the starting job in the MAC Tournament last year, made only his fifth career start in net.
• Senior Saad Abdul-Salaam, junior Andrew Souders, and sophomore Adam Najem were the only three regulars to start that game who had a majority of playing time last season.

Outside Looking In
• Though ranked No. 13 in the NSCAA Preseason Poll, the Zips have dropped out of the Top 25 as of the first regular season poll released yesterday and are now receiving votes.
• Akron fell to both Maryland (3-0) and Syracuse (2-1) in the preseason before dropping their season opener at New Mexico (1-0).
• The Zips were ranked No. 8 heading into last season and never dropped out of the top 10, reaching as high as No. 5 midseason, before finding themselves at No. 17 in the postseason rankings released following the NCAA Tournament where UA fell to Marquette in the second round.

About South Florida
• The Bulls lost their first and only game so far of the 2014 season at Florida Gulf Coast, 2-0.
• After capturing the American Athletic Conference Tournament crown in 2013, USF made their seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, where the lost in the first round to North Carolina 1-0.
• Player to watch: Edwin Moalosi - the senior midfielder started all 21 games in 2013 for the Bulls on his way to a fourteen point season with five goals and four assists, both good for second on the team. He was also named the offensive MVP of the AAC Tournament.

South Florida Series Notes
• This will be the fourth time that these two programs meet, with Akron winning the last matchup 5-0 in 2012.
• The Zips have never traveled to South Florida, however, as they are 2-1 in the lifetime series, with all three of those games coming at home.
• Akron's one loss to South Florida came in the first time the two teams faced one another in 2007, when the Bulls outlasted the Zips and won 1-0 in double overtime. UA took the second matchup, however, winning 2-0 in 2009.

About Florida Gulf Coast
• The Eagles, left out of the rankings coming into the 2014 season, are now receiving votes. At 48 votes, FGCU received 10 more votes than Akron in this season's first poll, as the two programs are receiving the most votes of any schools not in the top 25, placing them just outside of the national rankings.
• With a win over USF to open up their season, the Eagles will take on Portland (receiving votes) tomorrow night before the Zips come to town on Saturday.
• After starting the 2013 season with an 0-5-1 mark, the Eagles finished at 8-7-2, winning their fourth straight Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title.
• FGCU will return all 11 starters from one year ago as they did not graduate a single player last season.
• Player to watch: Aaron Guillen - after being named to the A-Sun All-Conference Second Team following his sophomore campaign in which he played in all 16 of his team's games, the junior defender comes in picked as the Pre-Season Co-Player of the Year in the A-Sun Conference.

Florida Gulf Coast Series Notes
• The Zips and Eagles have only met up once before, as FGCU traveled to Akron in 2012 where the Zips won by the score of 4-0.

Looking Ahead
• The University of Akron Tournament takes place next weekend, Sept. 12-14, when the Zips will play host to UCF and Hartford in their first two home matches of the 2014 season.
• That weekend will also accommodate the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Akron men's soccer program. For more information about the series of events and to sign up to take part in the celebration, please visit the event page here.