Men's Soccer Captures Eighth-Straight MAC Regular Season Title
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ONEONTA, N.Y. – The No. 2 University of Akron men's soccer team cruised to a 4-0 win over Hartwick Saturday at Elmore Field to clinch the program's eighth consecutive Mid-American Conference regular season championship.
As a result, the Zips (13-1-2, 6-0-0 MAC) earned the right to host the MAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed from Nov. 9-11 at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
Akron, which scored a pair of goals in each half, controlled the match from start to finish Saturday, out-shooting the Hawks 18-3 overall and 12-0 on frame. With the result, the Zips extended their unbeaten streak to 11 matches and pushed their win streak to 10. It was also UA's 12 shutout in 16 contests this seaons.
Just 105 seconds after the opening whistle, junior Eric Stevenson provided UA all the scoring it would need by taking a cross from Robbie Derschang, who was making his first start since Oct. 10, and slotting Hartwick goalkeeper Tom Buckner from 20 yards out. It was the sixth goal and third game-winning strike of the season for Stevenson.
The Zips made it 2-0 with a set piece goal in the 31st minute. After DeAndre Yedlin was taken down on the right side of the field, Dillon Serna whipped in a free kick that found the head of Chad Barson. The senior made the most of his opportunity by flicking it home from close range for his second goal of the season.
Akron used another restart opportunity to find the net early in the second half. A well-struck service on a corner kick by Serna connected with Reinaldo Brenes near the back post. Brenes smashed it off the cross bar and into the net to continue his hot streak in the 51st minute. Brenes, who leads the team with 10 goals on the season, has now found the back of the net in each of his last three matches and scored at least one goal in seven of his last eight.
Alfred Koroma capped the scoring in the 77th minute with his third goal of the fall. Derschang crossed the ball to Phil Fives, who brought it down for Koroma. With the defeat, Hartwick fell to 4-9-2 overall and 1-4-0 in MAC play.
Akron will play its final road contest of the regular season next Wednesday when it travels to East Lansing to take on Michigan State. The Zips and Spartans will kick off at 3 p.m (ET) at DeMartin Stadium.
Zips Notebook: Akron improved to 46-2-3 versus MAC schools under seventh-year head coach Caleb Porter ... UA has allowed six goals in 16 matches this season, spanning 1,480 minutes of play ... The Zips have scored seven goals in the first 15 minutes of games this year and are 108-3-4 when scoring first overall since 2006 ... Akron leads all league members with 15 MAC regular season titles.