(UPDATED Sept. 26, 2011)
TULSA, Okla. – Sophomore striker Darren Mattocks recorded the second hat trick of his career in leading The No. 4 University of Akron men's soccer team to a 3-0 victory at Tulsa Saturday night at Hurricane Track and Soccer Stadium.
With the win, the Zips (5-0-2) remained unbeaten on the season and improved to 5-0 all-time against the Golden Hurricane.
Mattocks, who last recorded three goals in a win against Buffalo last season, scored once in the first half and twice in the second to record his second multiple-goal performance of the year. He finished with a game-high eight shots, including five on frame, and has now scored seven goals in six matches this fall.
The Golden Hurricane (4-4-0) recorded 18 shots – though many were from distance – and were dangerous on a number of occasions. But the tremendous play of UA center backs Chad Barson and Bryan Gallego neutralized a host of threats and – combined with a season-high seven saves from David Meves – ensured Akron's fifth shutout in seven matches.
UA struck quickly in the ninth minute. DeAndre Yedlin won the ball just past midfield and skipped a pass to Mattocks, who had slipped behind the Tulsa back line, on the right flank. The Jamaican pulled the TU keeper Michael Murray out of position before lifting a shot across the box and into the top left corner of the net.
Junior Thomas Schmitt had a great chance to give UA an early, two-goal cushion in the 18th minute but was unlucky when his liner from the near left flank rang the cross bar. It was one of many opportunities for the Zips in the first 45 minutes but they could not add to their lead and settled for a 1-0 advantage into the break.
Akron's persistence paid off in the 55th minute however when Mattocks found the net for the second time by finishing off a run by Wil Trapp. Trapp created space near the right goal post for Mattocks, who turned and fired a rocket across the goal and past the diving keeper.
Mattocks then completed the hat trick in the 87th mintue, finishing a cross off the foot of Reinaldo Brenes.
Akron will next return home to host Ohio State Wednesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. The Zips and Buckeyes will kick off at 7:30 p.m.
Zips Notebook: Saturday's win was the 95th of UA head coach Caleb Porter's career ... Akron improved to 62-0-1 when leading at halftime and has now recorded 77 shutouts in 120 all-time games under Porter ... The Zips have been defeated just once during the regular run of play in their last 57 matches, dating back to the start of the 2009 season.