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The University of Akron men’s basketball game Saturday, Dec. 10, that was moved from 2 pm to 7 pm didn’t affect the Zips from grinding out another second-half victory over Appalachian State. Both teams shot for over 50 percent, Akron with .567 and Appalachian State .5, but the Zips outshot the Mountaineers from behind the arc with 58 percent compare Appalachian’s 44 percent. Malcolm Duvivier lead the Zips with 24 points and Daniel Utomi had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jimond Ivey and Emmanu Olojakpoke both had 15 points apiece. Mountaineers center Griffin Kinney led all scorers with a career-high 28 points and added six rebounds.The senior made 9 of 13 shots from the floor and 9 of 11 free throws. The game was a back and forth affair to the end as both teams pressured one another. The Mountaineers jumped out to a 12-4 lead out of the gate, hitting open jumpers early, including two 3s by Ronshad Shabazz and going inside to big man Kinney to build their lead. The Zips quickly recovered and reeled off an 8-0 run to tie the game en route to a 47-38 halftime lead. After the Mountaineers took a 78-76 lead in the second half, Akron went on a 12-2 run. Duvivier made a jumper and Utomi hit back-to-back 3s to give the Zips an 86-79 lead the Zips and allow them to hold on to the lead till the final buzzer. The past few games have seen the Zips taken an early lead in the first half but struggle defensive in the second half, fighting to keep their heads above water. Appalachian State Kinney dominated the paint due to the Zips able to shut him down. “Watching them on tape, I knew they were going to be the most difficult team to defend that we have played home or away,” Groce said of the Mountaineers. “I liked our defense in the first half. I thought we forced them into some tough 2s and defended the 3-point line fairly well.” The Zips will look to strengthen their defense when they welcome Mississippi River State to the James A. Rhodes Arena on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. Their last game before the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
The University of Akron men’s soccer team had the chance to deny Stanford a second opportunity to be the second soccer program in NCAA history to win three consecutive national titles. However, the Zips would suffer a familiar fate, losing to Stanford in the Final Four of the College Cup tournament 2-0 in Philadelphia, Penn. at Talen Energy Stadium. The Cardinal’s first half was a dominant display of defensive pressure. Stanford took nine shots, four on goal, to Akron’s two shots, one on goal. Stanford keeper Nico Corti made five saves to ensure the clean sheet for Stanford, who has not surrendered a goal in NCAA Tournament play this season. Akron keeper Ben Lundt pulled in four saves for the Zips but gave up two goals due to Akron’s sloppy mid-field play. Stanford had a seven-minute stretch in the first half where the Cardinal kept Zips on their defensive third, having five near opportunities to put the ball into the net at the Major League Soccer venue. Stanford’s skipper, Drew Skundrich, forced a turnover from Akron’s Pau Belana, allowing the Cardinals to set up Foster Langsdorf for a diving header for the first goal of the game. “I think every player was handful tonight. If you turn the ball over in the right spots, Langford will prey on it and we didn’t make him play the game he didn’t want to play. For that reason, we let him do what he wanted to do tonight,” said Embick on Langford’s performance on the night. The best chance for Akron came in the 61st minute when David Egbo’s shot was saved by Corti. Corti’s save deflected to Niko De Vera, had a strike on goal, which again was saved by Corti. “That was the moment that we had the momentum and a chance to get back in the game and I do think it’s a key one,” Embick said on the two saves. “If we really rose to the occasion at that moment, who knows what would have happened. When it didn’t go through we kind of had a lull and they started to get back into the game. That’s what happens.” The final blow for Stanford came in the 79th minute when Werner took a deflection and drove the ball down the left side of the box. He hooked a left-footed shot over Lundt, and the ball deflected on the bottom side of the crossbar and in, giving Stanford the victory and ticket to the final. “It’s hard to say it, but they were the better team out on the field tonight. They came out aggressive, and I think they got us early and we couldn’t respond,” said head coach Jared Embick after the game.
Akron men’s soccer team gathered at the James A. Rhodes Arena for the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship Selection Show with students and faculty. Photo Courtesy of Akron Athletics.
The 2017 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship Selection took place Nov. 13 that featured the Mid-American Conference Champions, the University of Akron men’s soccer team. The Zips earned a No. fifth national seed and will host the winner between the Washington/Seattle match in the second-round action on Sunday, Nov. 19 at Cub Cadet Field. “You wanted a top four, you wanted the three home games but it’s a really good seed,” head coach Jared Embick said on the draw. “When you break down the bracket, there’s a lot of familiar teams in there that we have played and done well against. If we have the chance to play them, we can take that belief into the game and use that as a motivating factor of what we can accomplish here.” Akron will make its 11th consecutive and 32nd overall tournament appearance this campaign. Akron is one of four Division I programs that have qualified for the NCAA Championships in eleven seasons, Indiana, Maryland, and Virginia. The Zips look promising coming off their MAC Championship victory over Western Michigan. The team has won ten consecutive matches, their last loss dating back to early October against the Broncos, 1-0. “We’ve all been here before,” Senior forward Sam Gainford said after the selection. “I need to learn by example and we have a lot of seniors here on the team that knows what needs done.” Gainford and fellow Zip forward Stuart Holthusen have scored a total of seventeen goals this season, ten of those goals being in their last five matches. The first round of games for the Tournament, including Seattle and Washington, will take place on Thursday, Nov. 16.
According to gozips.com, tickets are available now by calling or texting the Akron ticket office at 888-99-AKRON (25766) or visiting The C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field (located at 375 E. Exchange Street, near Gate 1 at the southwest corner of the venue, at the corner of E. Exchange and S. Union streets) Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Season ticket holders can purchase their same seats for the NCAA games by calling our texting the ticket office. Prices for all NCAA games are $15 for reserved, $10 for General Admission and we have a family four pack in general admission for $35. Seven hundred and fifty free tickets will be provided to University of Akron students with a valid Zip Card (limit one per Zip Card). Tickets can be picked up at the gate on Sunday with a valid Zip Card.
The University of Akron men’s soccer won its sixth straight and 14th overall Mid-American Conference Tournament title this Sunday after defeating the host of the tournament, Western Michigan, 3-1. Akron is expected to earn at least a top-eight national seed come Monday when the NCAA reveals its tournament pairings at 1 p.m. Akron outshot Western Michigan, 17-10 and 6-5 with shots on goal. Senior and Most Valuable Player of the tournament, Stuart Holthusen, would open Akron’s tally when senior Niko De Vera pass the ball into the box to Holthusen and tap it into the back of the net. The goal marked Holthusen 10th goal of the season. Just as it looked that Akron would head into the intermission with a 1-0 lead, Western Michigan’s Ben Thornton brought the Broncos level, scoring with thirteen seconds left in the half. In the second half, Senior Sam Gainford scored the go-ahead goal in the 56 minute, and Manuel Cordeiro added an insurance goal in the 78th minute to see Akron seal the win. Akron has won 10 straight games since their 1-0 loss to Western Michigan last October and look to be heating up heading into the NCAA Tournament. There will be a watch party for the NCAA selection show in the Tommy Evans Lounge at James A. Rhodes Arena with doors opening at 12:30 p.m. There will be free food for first 100 students, giveaways, and prizes for fans in attendance.
The University of Akron men’s soccer enters the Mid-American Conference Tournament in Kalamazoo, Michigan as the second seed of the tournament. The Zips open their championship play against third-seeded SIU Edwardsville on Friday, Nov. 10 at 11 a.m.
The two advancing teams will square off for the MAC Championship on Sunday, Nov.12, at 1 p.m.
The Zips finished the regular season with a record of 14-3-1, winning their last eight games of the season straight, which included a 3-1 victory over SIU Edwardsville.
Key players are now stepping up for the Zips, coming off the back side of the regular season. Senior Stuart Holthusen, who scored six goals in his last 3 games. Senior Sam Gainford finished the season with six goals and four assists.
“We say, in the locker room, it’s Stewie’s time of year,” said Gainford on Holthusen’s end of season performance. “He’s proven it and once again he came to life. He’s on fire.”
The Zip’s defensive effort off the ball has been the main component to how Akron has only allowed an average one goal for the opposition.
“I think it says when we play our game and we pass the ball well, we control it, we press the ball when we lose it, that we’re very difficult to create chances against,” said head coach Jared Embick about the team. “That’s always been our success here; how well we are with the ball, how well we press. You know, the other team really struggles to create rhythm and chances against us and leads to us get some shutouts.”