No. 1 Akron Outlasts No. 8 Indiana, 1-0
Sept. 18, 2009
AKRON, Ohio - A goal by Michael Nanchoff in the 77th minute before a record-setting crowd at Lee Jackson Field lifted the No. 1 University of Akron men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over No. 8 Indiana Friday night.
Nanchoff's game-winner came on a free kick from the top of the box, slipped past a wall of IU defenders and found its way into the bottom right corner of the net. With the win, the Zips (5-0-0) stayed perfect on the year and defeated their second ranked opponent in as many tries following their 1-0 decision over No. 14 Tulsa on Sept. 6.
For the game, Akron out-shot Indiana (2-2-1), 10-7.
"I thought it was pretty even in the first half and IU could have caught us a couple of times," said UA head coach Caleb Porter. "But we clearly came out as the aggressor in the second half and did what was needed to get the win."
Friday's highly-anticipated match-up drew a capacity crowd of 2,443 fans to Lee Jackson Field - far surpassing the previous high of 2,319 set in 2005 in a 3-0 win vs. Ohio State. The game was officially announced as a sell out Thursday afternoon.
Defensively, it was UA's fourth shutout in five games. Akron is now undefeated at home in its last 25 regular season games and improved its record to 42-2-4 at Lee Jackson Field since 2005.
As could be expected in a game featuring two premiere teams, the Zips and Hoosiers felt each other out in what proved to be an exciting opening period. Junior Blair Gavin had the hot hand early, firing a pair of shots - including an attempt that was denied by an IU defender following a perfectly-placed pass from Anthony Ampaipitakwong in the 12th minute.
Sophomore Teal Bunbury was also aggressive in a scoreless halftime with a pair of shots of his own. But the IU defense was up to the task in the back-and-forth affair. The second half was a much different story however as UA began to take control of the game.
"I was really proud of the way we played in the second half," Porter said. "Not to take anything away from Indiana because they have a very talented team, but with the players we have, I really felt that if we could control the ball and dictate the action we would come out on top. I really liked the energy and focus we had coming out after the half."
Bunbury opened the second half with a pair of quick shots to spark the attack and Akron finally broke Indiana down with Nanchoff's fourth career goal and first career game-winner.
Friday night's game was the second contest of the annual University of Akron Tournament. Saint Louis, whom the Zips will face Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Lee Jackson Field, defeated Florida International, 1-0, in the first game of the day.