No. 1 Akron Proves Mettle, Downs No. 9 Creighton 1-0
Oct. 27, 2010
Courtesy of Akron Athletics
AKRON, Ohio - A goal by Darlington Nagbe in the 63rd minute proved to be the difference as The No. 1 University of Akron men's soccer team earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory over No. 9 Creighton Wednesday night at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field.
The match had a tournament-type feel as the two top-10 programs went toe-to-toe in front of 3,856 fans and a regionally televised audience on SportsTime Ohio. The game will be re-broadcast Thursday at Noon on STO.
With the win, the Zips (14-0-1) padded their RPI standing while extending their home unbeaten streak to 34 games, which is the fourth-longest run in NCAA history. Akron has also now won 23 straight matches at home dating back to the 2008 season, which matches the fourth-longest run of its kind in NCAA history.
For Creighton, which fell to 11-3-0 on the season, the loss was the Bluejays' first regular-season road defeat since 2006 and marked the first time they had been shut out this fall. They entered the week ranked 14th in the NCAA RPI.
The Jays came right at Akron from the get-go and forced an early save by Zips goalkeeper David Meves in the third minute. The Zips countered with a scoring opportunity of their own in the 12th minute when Darren Mattocks drew CU goalkeeper Bryan Hoie out of position but his shot deflected off the cross bar. It was the first of two Akron strikes that hit the cross bar on the night as Ben Speas nearly netted a goal late in the second half.
After being pushed to the limit at times in the first half, the Zips had a renewed focus after the break. Ampaipitakwong nearly broke the deadlock in the 50th minute with a mid-range strike from the middle of the box but Hoie was there to make the stop.
Akron began building momentum however and finally broke through on Nagbe's sixth goal of the season. Ampaipitakwong initiated the play with a well-struck through ball that hit Nagbe in stride amid a cluster of defenders. Nagbe fired through the pack and uncorked a blast into the right corner of the net.
It was a tight match throughout with UA earning slight edges for shots, 8-6, and shots on goal, 3-2.
The Zips will next make the short trip to Cleveland State Saturday for a 2 p.m. kick off.