UA Kicks Cancer Soccer Tournament

The mens’s club soccer team and Akron Against Cancer held a charity tournament where all the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. This was the second event like this as the women’s varsity soccer team held this same event last semester.

I got a chance to speak with assistant coach Josh Kay, who spoke about the event and how much money was raised. To this Josh said, “The event went great, the weather was a big factor in that. We raised nearly $500 after 10 teams had joined.”

In regards to whether this will be an occurring thing for semesters to come Josh said, “We are already planning for next semester. We had a chance to learn and look forward to improve based on the experience we gained from this event.”

To understand the club more, I asked Josh what the club team is about and how to join as a player or as part of the administration. Some of the benefits he listed included high competition levels, continuing to play soccer at a high level, and getting a chance to gain real world experience as an officer or coach.

The team labeled this event a success, and as mentioned look forward to hosting it once again next semester.

For the overall club, it is currently their offseason, but information on tryouts for anybody interested in a player or administrative role will be posted in the coming months.

If you want to contact the team about future events or for information on joining, you can email them at Also, you can give them a follow or contact them on their twitter, @UAMensClubSoccer.

Cavs Drop Game One

The Cleveland Cavaliers drop their opening game of the playoffs to the Indiana Pacers, 98-80. This was the first time in 21 games a LeBron James led team lost a first round game.

Post game, LeBron James said on his team being down 0-1, “I’m down 0-1 in the first round, I was down 3-1 in the Finals, I’m the last guy to ask about next game preparations.”. Ty Lue on the Pacers suffocating defense chipped in, “They came in, they were more physical, and in the playoffs usually those teams win”.

The Pacers walked into Quicken Loans Arena and looked like the better team, as they blitz the Cavs from beginning to end. This was not helped by the Cavaliers inability to make a three pointer as the team went a collected 8 of 34 on three point attempts.

LeBron James finished the game with a triple double as he went for 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. The next highest scoring Cavalier was J.R. Smith, who finished with 15 points off the bench.

In the first quarter, the pace was as quick as you’d have expected. The Pacers seemed to be the ones more locked in though as they went on a tear, finishing the quarter up 19 points.

This continued all the way to halftime, as the Pacers were up 55-38. This was spearheaded by Victor Oladipo continuing to put pressure on the Cavs defense.

The second half was much of the same for the beginning of the third quarter. The Pacers managed to increase their lead to as high as 23 points. Then the Cavs began their comeback.

This was a repeat of last season, when the Cavs came back from 26 down to defeat the Pacers in game 3 of the opening round. The Cavs got within 7 points off of a Kevin Love four point play opportunity. Then the Pacers put an end to that.

Each time the Cavaliers seemed to get close, they couldn’t get over the hurdle. The Pacers continued to make shots as the everybody not named J.R. Smith, continued to struggle from the perimeter.

Victor Oladipo showed why he was an All-Star this year. He finished the game with 32 points on 58% shooting from the field. He constantly split the Cavs trap on pick and rolls, and also showed his defensive abilities with four steals.

The Cavaliers find themselves in unfamiliar territory, and will have to win a game in Indiana to take back home court advantage. It is easy to say that it is not expected for the Cavaliers to match their season low shooting and offensive rating percentages, but these Pacers cannot be overlooked as they made that clear in game one.

Once a slogan, now turns into reality as the Cavaliers will now have to do “Whatever It Takes” in order to reach the finals once again.


Cavaliers Top Pelicans on LeBron’s Historic Night

History was made in Cleveland last night as the Cavs played the Pelicans. The final score being 107-102.

The game started off with everybody in anticipation for a new record to be broken by LeBron James. It only took 6 minutes for that to happen, as LeBron scored 11 points in the first quarter alone to break Michael Jordan’s record of 866 straight double digit scoring games.

Accompanying LeBron in the first half was Rodney Hood, who looked more aggressive than he has all season. He scored 16 points to round out the game.

Jordan Clarkson was also huge off the bench once again for the Cavs. He didn’t miss any of his four three point attempts, and finished the game with 23 points on 69% shooting.

The first quarter began with the Cavaliers playing a fast pace style the likes the Pelicans couldn’t seem to stop, even given Kevin Love’s off night.

The Pelicans bounced back in the second quarter to take a 10 point lead into halftime, even with their star, Anthony Davis not playing as well.

The same continued for the Pelicans in the third quarter. Jrue Holliday stepped up his game and looked almost unguardable.

It became more difficult to stop him once George Hill went down with an apparent ankle injury. He scored all 8 of his points in the beginning of the third.

It was only once the threes starting falling for Cleveland that the Cavs turned the tide taking a one point lead into the fourth and final quarter.

The Cavs and Pelicans battled in the fourth quarter exchanging buckets down the stretch. The game never fully seemed in reach until LeBron decided to take over.

Exposing the mismatch of E’twaun Moore, Mirotic, and Miller, LeBron James went isolation on three straight possessions. Using his now signature setback, LeBron scored 6 straight points to stretch the lead.

On the other side, Jrue Holliday used screens by Anthony Davis in order to get the switch on Kevin Love, which he scored nearly every time.

The Cavaliers lead by three with 20 seconds left. Jrue Holliday found himself wide open for the game tying three, but hit it off the back of the rim. Jordan Clarkson was fouled and made both free throws to put the game out of reach.

The Cavaliers moved to 46-30 on the season, and look to keep their place as the third seed in the east. The continue their home stand when the Dallas Mavericks come into Quicken Loans on April 1st.


Heartbreak in Cleveland

The Akron Zips dominated almost the entire game, but couldn’t finish the job. Akron’s season ends in the quarterfinals of the MAC tournament to Eastern Michigan, 67-58.

Post game Coach Groce took to the microphone to talk about the toughness his players showed. Akron started the game as well as they had all season, “I think this is maybe as good as we’ve played all year” Groce said addressing the media.

Coach Groce also elaborated on the two games the team endured this week. He commented saying “Obviously two different games, one where we’re down by 23 and come back and win, and this one we’re up 19 and not quite able to finish them off”.

Leading the way for the Zips was sophomore forward, Daniel Utomi who put in a 14 point effort. Malcolm Duvivier, playing in his final collegiate game, and Eric Parrish both chipped in 13 points, respectfully.

The Zips started off hot and got out to a 10-0 start. They showed no signs of being affected by Eastern Michigan’s 2-3 zone. Akron got the ball where they wanted, when they wanted and hit threes in the process.

Eastern Michigan was held to 32% shooting from the field in the first half, as junior forward, James Thompson IV was in foul trouble and only had 2 points entering halftime. The Zips continued to pull away and lead 31-22.

The second half was much more of the same in the beginning. The Zips were leading by 19 points with a little over 5 minutes left remaining in the game, but that is when things began to fall apart.

The game was chippy from start to finish including technical fouls being called on Coach Groce, James Thompson IV, and Tim Bond. The biggest technical was on Jimond Ivey, who received it by slamming the ball in front of the ref.

Ivey received the technical at the 8 minute mark in the second half, as the Zips lead by 11. From that point on, the Eagles went on a 22-5 run to end the game, and in the process finishing the Zips season.

The Eagles were paced by Elijah Minnie. The third team all-MAC selection had 21 points and 3 blocks. Eastern Michigan also got a combined 30 points from Tim Bond and Paul Jackson.

Eastern Michigan will move onto the semi-finals against Toledo, while Akron will be looking forward to the off-season.

Akron finishes the season 14-18 on the season, and 6-12 in conference play. The record will not show the growth the team has shown over the last month.

So ends the first season in the Coach Groce era. Akron will look to bounce back with a mostly returning roster. The season did not reach the same success as years prior, but it does give an insight into a young team with a bright future.

Zips Fail to Blast Off Against the Rockets

The Akron Zips welcomed the leaders in the MAC West, Toledo, to the JAR on Feb. 3rd. However, their losing streak continues to roll as they lost 77-56.

The Toledo Rockets were a familiar foe to John Groce and company, as earlier in the year they dispatched the Zips in Toledo, winning 65-67. This game was not as close as the first.

In the first half of action the Zips came out hot starting off the game on a 7-0 run. Toledo managed to bounce back, and managed to take a 27-18 lead with a little under 5 minutes left. All signs early on pointed to the Rockets maintaining a lead for the rest of the game.

This was before Daniel Utomi and Vershon Cotton hit three 3’s in a row to cut the Rockets’ lead to only 2 points. However, Toledo was able to recover taking a 35-27 lead into the halftime period.

In the first meeting in January, the player that sealed the win for Toledo was Jae’lan Sanford, who scored a game high 22 points for the Rockets. In this game he continued to be a thorn in the Zips’ side, putting together a solid stat line of 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.

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