Oct. 15, 2009

Courtesy of Akron

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Sophomore Teal Bunbury scored his fifth goal in four games to lead the No. 1/1 University of Akron men's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Virginia Tech Tuesday night at Thompson Field.

With the win, the Zips, who recorded their 10th shutout in 12 games, stayed perfect on the season with 12 wins in 12 games – achieving the best start in program history.

"This was a dangerous game," said UA head coach Caleb Porter. "We knew Virginia Tech would be fighting for their lives tonight and anytime you play an ACC team on the road it's going to take a good performance to get a result."

Bunbury, who has been on an incredible run with nine goals in his last seven matches, found the net for the 10th time in 2009 in the 37th minute. The native of Prior Lake, Minn., took a pass from Kofi Sarkodie, slipped through the Virginia Tech defense and beat the 'keeper in a one-on-one situation. Bunbury entered the game ranked seventh in the nation for goals scored.

With a 1-0 lead to start the second half, the Zips were relentless on the attack with six shots in the first 15 minutes en route to a 12-5 shots advantage for the period. But Virginia Tech 'keeper Stefan Caulfield was up to the task early until junior Blair Gavin put the game away for good with a successful penalty kick in 80th minute. The team co-captain is a perfect 3-for-3 in penalty situations this season.

"Our first half was strong and we did well to earn a 1-0 lead at halftime," Porter said. "We were unfortunate to not pull ahead in the second half and it could have come back to haunt us. In the end, our team defending held us in until we were able to get the second goal."

UA goalkeeper David Meves, who leads the nation in goals-against-average, continued to be up to the task as the true freshman posted three saves while notching his eighth shutout of the campaign.

For the game, the Zips doubled up the Hokies (3-7-2) in shots, 18-9, and posted advantages in shots on goal (8-3) and corner kicks (8-3). The victory put the finishing touches on a 4-0 road trip for UA, which also made stops at Florida Atlantic, Western Michigan and UIC.

"This has been a tough road stretch," Porter said. "To be on the road for four straight games in 10 days and get results is a credit to this team's focus and determination."

Akron will next return to Lee Jackson Field Saturday night when Northern Illinois comes to town for a rematch of last year's Mid-American Conference Tournament finals. The Zips and Huskies will kick off at 7:30 p.m. To purchase tickets in advance, call the Athletics Ticket Office at 1-888-99-AKRON.

"I know the boys are looking forward to being back home this weekend," Porter said. "Special thanks to the 50-plus Rowdies who made the trip to Blacksburg. Our players can't wait to play NIU at Lee Jackson Field with all the Rowdies behind them again."

Zips Notebook: Tuesday's game marked the first ever meeting between Akron and Virginia Tech ... The Zips have yet to allow a goal in the first half this season, out-scoring opponents 19-0 before the intermission ... UA has gone 24 games since it allowed a goal in the opening period and 48 games since it last trailed at the break ... UA improved to 57-11-7 under fourth-year head coach Caleb Porter ... Akron has out-shot opponents 200-51 in 2009.