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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Zips senior David Meves became the school's all-time shutouts leader as the No. 2 University of Akron men's soccer team picked up its ninth-straight win with a 1-0 decision at Ohio State Tuesday night.
With the 49th clean sheet of his career, Meves surpassed Evan Bush (2005-08) for the all-time standard at Akron. Moreover, the native of Arlington Heights, Ill., earned every bit of it Tuesday – recording six saves, including three of the spectacular variety.
Thanks to Meves' performance, a goal by Reinaldo Brenes in the 52nd minute proved to be all the scoring the Zips (12-1-2) would need. The junior finished a rebounded shot by Wil Trapp to net his team-leading fourth game-winner of the year and ninth goal overall – all coming in the last seven matches.
But the night belonged to Meves, who matched a season high with his six stops.
With the match still scoreless, Ohio State's Chris Gomez and Chris Hegngi spearheaded a dangerous sequence for the Buckeyes but Meves was up to the task. Meves dove to his right to punch out the first shot by Hegngi, then rushed back to his left to make a stop on a rebound by Gomez.
Then in the 66th minute, OSU's Austin McAnena found space and lofted a shot across the goal headed for the upper left 90 but Meves leaped up to push it over the crossbar. On the ensuing corner kick, Gomez sneaked a liner past Meves but Scott Caldwell was there to clear it off the line and preserve the Zips' lead.
Akron, which out-shot Ohio State 18-14 for the match, had the ball for the majority of play and missed opportunities of its own, including a pair of close-ranged shots by Eric Stevenson and Caldwell that were stopped by Buckeyes' goalkeeper Alex Wimmer, who finished with nine saves on the night. UA was a bit unlucky as well in the first half when Brenes flicked a header off the left post.
Nonetheless, the Zips, who entered play with the top shutout percentage in the nation, extended their unbeaten streak to 10 matches and earned their 11th shutout of the year.
Despite a 10-4 Akron advantage in shots, the Zips and Buckeyes were scoreless at halftime. UA had a number of quality chances just before the break but couldn't cash in.
Caldwell may have had the best opportunity of the first 45 minutes when he received a cross from the left side of the field and one-timed it right into the chest of Wimmer. Just minutes earlier, a series of passes near midfield left Stevenson with the ball and space in front of the net but his shot went wide right.
With the defeat, Ohio State fell to 6-9-1 on the year.
Akron, which improved to 4-0 against Big Ten schools this season, will jump back into Mid-American Conference play Saturday when it travels to Hartwick for a 3 p.m., kick off.
Zips Notebook: Akron improved to 26-6-3 all-time versus Ohio State and 21-6-5 versus schools from the Big Ten Conference under seventh-year head coach Caleb Porter ... UA is 17-2-1 against the Big Ten since 2009 ... The Zips are 107-3-4 when scoring first and 84-1-8 when shutting out their opponent since 2006.