November 9, 2012

Men's Soccer Dominates Bowling Green, Advances to MAC Championship Round

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AKRON, Ohio
– The No. 1 University of Akron men's soccer team earned a 2-0 victory over fourth-seeded Bowling Green in the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament Friday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

With the victory, the Zips (16-1-2) will play for the MAC Tournament championship for the eighth time in the last nine seasons when they meet Northern Illinois, which defeated West Virginia 1-0 in the first semifinal of the day, in the final Sunday at 4:30 p.m., on their home field.

The win also extended UA's conference unbeaten streak to 46 matches, which ties Furman (1999-2003) for the longest such streak in NCAA history. Akron has now gone 43-0-3 against MAC schools – including postseason play – since 2007.

After falling short in last year's MAC Tournament semifinals, the Zips made sure history would not repeat itself Friday night as they out-shot the Falcons 33-2 overall, including a 9-1 margin on-goal, and earned 13 corner kicks to BGSU's none.

Akron, which out-shot BG 15-0 in the first half alone, drew first blood late in the first half, thanks to a highlight-reel worthy strike by sophomore Wil Trapp.

With a strong run, Dillon Serna earned an Akron free kick near the left sideline and Scott Caldwell played the ensuing free kick back to Trapp near the middle of the field. Trapp set himself up with a great touch and fired a rocket from beyond 30 yards that whistled through the box, past the diving BGSU keeper and into the lower right-hand corner of the net in the 40th minute. It was Trapp's first goal of his Zips' career. 

In a flash, UA added to its lead with it's second goal coming just one minute and 29 seconds later. Saad Abdul-Salaam initiated the action with a cross to Caldwell, who slipped the ball to Thomas Schmitt on the right flank. Schmitt created space and buried the shot for his second goal of the season at the 41:19 mark.

That was all the offense the Zips would need as they limited the Falcons to just two shots for the match. In doing so, UA posted its 15th shutout of the season, which is tied for the second-highest single-season total in school history.

Both BGSU shots came from distance in the second half and neither threatened the goal.

Zips Notebook: The Zips improved to 24-8-6 all-time at the MAC Tournament, including an 8-0-2 mark since 2008 ... UA will be looking to capture its ninth MAC Tournament title Sunday ... Akron has been defeated just once at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field since the start of the 2008 season. The Zips are 53-1-6 on their home field during that time ... The Zips have allowed just one goal in nine home matches in 2012 where they have yet to trail in a game  ... UA has defeated Bowling Green in its last 13 meetings and leads the all-time series 42-8-3 ... Akron is 111-3-4 when scoring first and 89-1-3 when scoring two or more goals since 2006.