Nov. 29, 2009

Courtesy of Akron

AKRON, Ohio - The top-seeded University of Akron men's soccer team defeated Stanford, 2-0, to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships for just the third time in school history Sunday before yet another record-setting crowd at Lee Jackson Field.

It was business as usual for the Zips (22-0-0), who dominated possession, jumped on their opponent early and held the Cardinal (12-6-2) to just four second-half shots for the match.

"I thought our first half was one of the best halves of the year," said UA head coach Caleb Porter. "In fact, I'm not so sure I have seen a college soccer team do what we did to a team like we did in the first half in any season I have been a part of. This team has a whole other gear they go into at certain times. I know there is even another level they will get in the next round and in future rounds."

Akron, which has already set school records for overall wins and consecutive wins in a season, achieved another program milestone Sunday with its 16th shutout, surpassing the previous high of 15 set in 2005. Furthermore, UA set a record for attendance for the fourth time in 2009 as 2,806 fans were on hand to witness the Zips advance.

UA will face Tulsa, which defeated Northwestern, 1-0 in its third-round match-up, next Saturday at 4 p.m. at Lee Jackson Field. To purchase your tickets in advance, call the Akron Athletics Ticket Office at 1-888-99-AKRON.

Akron is currently riding the second longest, single-season win streak in NCAA history, and can match the record of 23 - set by Indiana  in 1997 - next weekend.

The nation's leading goal scorer, Teal Bunbury added to his total with No. 17 on the season in the 29th minute to give UA a 1-0 lead. The sophomore forward leaped high to get a head on a ball that volleyed around following one of eight Akron corner kicks. Chad Barson, who recorded his first career assist on the play, also got a head on the ball to set up the score.

Junior Anthony Ampaipitakwong, who has scored three goals in two NCAA Tournament games this season, made it 2-0 in the 37th minute on a direct free kick from 26 yards out.  

The two goals highlighted the Zips' most complete half of their perfect season. UA out-shot Stanford, 9-0, in the first 45 minutes en route to a 16-4 margin for the match and was relentless with its attack.

The Cardinal picked up its pace in the second half, but couldn't break through the Zips' swarming defense. UA's true freshman goalkeeper David Meves recorded a trio of saves, including one worthy of the highlight reel, to post his 14th shutout of the campaign, matching Evan Bush's school record (2005) for most in a season.

Akron, which is now undefeated in its last 25 home games (24-0-1), is vying to become the first team in 35 years to win a national championship with a perfect record. It will take three more wins to do so starting next weekend against the Golden Hurricane. UA is 2-0 all-time against Tulsa, including a 1-0 decision at the Tulsa Tournament in the second match of the season.

Zips Notebook: UA is 3-2 all-time at the NCAA Tournament under head coach Caleb Porter ... Akron is 44-0-0 when it leads at halftime under Porter and 49-0-0 when it scores two or more goals.