Men's Soccer To Begin Postseason Play Friday Against Bowling Green
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AKRON, Ohio – For the sixth consecutive season, the top-seeded and No. 1 nationally-ranked University of Akron men's soccer team will host the Mid-American Conference Tournament this weekend at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
As the MAC regular season champion, the Zips will host fourth-seeded Bowling Green in the second semifinal match Friday, starting at 7:30 p.m., after No. 2 Northern Illinois battles No. 3 West Virginia at 4 p.m. The winners from each semifinal round will meet in the MAC Championship Sunday at 4:30 p.m. The MAC Tournament champion receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Match #19: No. 1 Akron (15-1-2) vs. Bowling Green Falcons (8-8-3)
Date/Time: Nov. 9, 2012 • 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field • Akron, Ohio
Match Notes: MAC Tournament Notes (PDF)
Televison: None • Radio: None
Live Stats: GoZips.com • Video Stream: GoZips.com
• Reserved ($15) and General Admission ($10) tickets are on sale now for all three matches. Students of all four participating schools will be admitted free of charge with valid ID.
• To purchase your ticket, click on GoZips.com/Tickets, call 1-888-99-AKRON (25766) or visit the C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field (located at the southwest corner of the venue, near Gate 1, at the corner of East Exchange and South Union streets).
• Tickets may also be purchased at Gate 1 of FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field one hour prior to kick off.
Akron Versus The MAC
• The Zips swept their MAC regular season schedule for the fifth straight season with a perfect 7-0-0 record in 2012, out-scoring the league 20-1. It was the eighth straight year Akron has won the league's regular-season title.
• In all, UA leads all conference members with 15 regular-season championships (Kentucky, which competed in the MAC from 1995-2004, is ranked second with four crowns) and eight conference tournament titles. Bowling Green and Kentucky are tied for the second-most tournament titles with three apiece.
• UA's bid for a fifth straight MAC Tournament title was dashed by Western Michigan last season when the Broncos eliminated UA during the semifinal round in a penalty kick shootout (4-3) after the teams played to a 1-all draw.
• Last season also marked the first time Akron did not advance to the MAC Championship round since 2003. The Zips had played for seven straight MAC titles – winning six – prior to last year's semifinal setback to WMU.
• The Zips own an all-time record of 23-8-6 at the MAC Tournament, including a 7-0-2 mark since 2007 with all of their last nine matches being played at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
About Bowling Green
• The Falcons enter the postseason with an overall record of 8-8-3 and league mark of 3-3-1. They were defeated by West Virginia in the regular-season finale but qualified for the fourth and final spot in the MAC Tournament after winning a tiebreaker with Western Michigan.
• Bowling Green is 17-13-0 all-time at the MAC Tournament. BGSU advanced to the league's postseason in each of the first 15 years in which it was held (1994-2008), and last advanced to the tournament in 2010.
• The Falcons' attack is paced by Anthony Grant (8 G, 4 A) and Danny Baraldi (6 G, 7 A). Michael Wiest (1.06 GAA) has logged all 1,784 minutes in goal for Bowling Green.
Bowling Green Series Notes
• Friday's match represents the 53rd all-time meeting between the Zips and Falcons in a series that dates back to 1966. UA has won its last 12 meetings against BGSU and leads the series overall with a record of 41-8-3.
• During its 12-game win streak against Bowling Green, Akron has out-scored the Falcons 43-4. One would have to go back to the 2002 season to find the last BGSU win over UA, a 1-0 decision at Bowling Green.
• Alfred Koroma (18') and Scott Caldwell (20') each found the back of the net to lead the Zips to a 2-0 victory at BG in the MAC regular-season opener in September. The Zips posted advantages in shots (30-10), shots on goal (10-6) and corner kicks (9-7).
NCAA Watch Party Monday
• Regardless of the out-come of this weekend, the Zips, who are ranked No. 2 in this week's NCAA ratings percentage index (RPI), are a lock to be invited to this year's 48-team NCAA Tournament.
• Come to Johnny J's, located in the valley at 1282 Weathervane Lane, for the official Akron Zips NCAA Selection Show Watch Party this Monday at 5 p.m., as the Zips discover their postseason path at this free event.
• Akron pushed its win streak to 12 and run of unbeaten matches to 13 with a 1-0 victory over visiting Western Michigan in the regular-season finale last weekend.
• Caldwell netted his third game-winning goal of the season by cleaning up a rebound from Alfred Koroma in the 86th minute. It was a fair result for the Zips, who out-shot the Broncos 23-2 overall – including 16-0 in the second half – and 9-0 on frame.
No Place Like Home
• The Zips own a 7-0-1 mark at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field in 2012, where they have been defeated just once since the start of the 2008 season, posting a record of 52-1-6 (.932) during that time.
• Furthermore, UA has allowed just one goal at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field in 2012 where it has out-scored the opposition 22-1.
The Department of Defense
• Akron closed out the regular season with its fourth consecutive shutout and now leads the nation in that category with 14 overall. Moreover, with 14 clean sheets in 18 matches – including eight straight from Sept. 14 to Oct. 16 – the Zips are the nation's leader in shutout percentage (.780) as well.
• UA, which has allowed just one goal in its last 1,181:30 of play, has allowed six goals all season (three coming in a short-handed loss at Notre Dame on Sept. 9) and is ranked second among all Division I schools with a goals-against-average of 0.33.
• Akron's 14 shutouts are tied for the third-highest single-season total in school history and five shy of the program's standard (19), set in 2009.
• Including their eight-game shutout streak, which ranks as the 10th-longest in NCAA Division I history, the Zips compiled 713 scoreless minutes over a 10-game period from Sept. 7 to Oct. 20.
• Since 2006, Akron has shut out its opponent 96 times in 154 contests – or 62.3 percent of the time – while limiting opponents to one goal or less 137 times (89.0 percent).
Akron On The Attack
• The Zips, who have been shut out just once this season, are ranked ninth in the nation in goals scored (39) and 12th in scoring offense (2.17 goals/match).
• A key to the Zips' success this season and in years past has been their ability to draw first blood. Akron has out-scored opponents 21-1 in the first half in 2012 and is now 110-3-4 (.957) when scoring first since 2006. Moreover, UA is 80-2-2 (.964) when it leads at halftime and 88-1-3 (.973) when it scores two or more goals during that time.
• Along those lines, Akron has scored 18 goals in the first 30 minutes of matches this season, including seven in the first 15 minutes of play. Conversely, the only school to find the net in the first half against the Zips in 2012 was Creighton, which netted a goal in the 24th minute but settled for a draw when Alfred Koroma recorded the equalizer in the 57th minute.
• Akron has also had success scoring early in the second half of matches this fall with eight goals coming in the first 15 minutes after the break. In total, the Zips have out-scored foes 18-5 after halftime.
• UA has scored at least one goal in its last 12 matches while out-scoring teams 30-1 during that time.
• Three players have found the net six or more times for UA, led by Reinaldo Brenes (10 G, 2 A) and Hermann Trophy candidate Scott Caldwell (9 G, 6 A). Eric Stevenson rounds out the trio with six goals and four helpers.