Preview: Akron Men’s Soccer paired with SIU Edwardsville for their first MAC Championship Game

Photo Courtesy of MACtion twitter account

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.”