8/24/2012 | Akron, Ohio | Attendance: 4440
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||AKRON|
|Shots (on Goal)||6 (0)||14 (11)|
AKRON, Ohio – Behind three second half goals, No. 2 Akron handed the FGCU men’s soccer team a 4-0 defeat in the season opener for both clubs Friday night in front of 4,440 fans on Cub Cadet Field at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Zips, who have lost just one game at FirstEnergy Stadium since 2008, entered the game at No. 2 in the preseason Soccer America Top 25 poll. FGCU, the two-time defending Atlantic Sun regular season champ, is now 3-5 all-time against teams ranked in the top 25.
Four different players scored for Akron, as its three second half goals were separated by less than 17 minutes. Junior Eric Stevenson was credited with the game-winner which came in the 20th minute and also added an assist to lead the way for the Zips.
Reigning A-Sun Tournament MVP Nate Ingham (Ontario, Canada/Keswick HS) made five saves in goal for the Eagles, as the Zips held a 14-6 shot advantage on the night. Ingham’s five saves, including four in the first half, were coupled with a pair of team saves in which the all-underclassmen starting defense cleared off the goal line.
The 2010 National Champs controlled a majority of the first half and nearly got on the board in the 10th minute Bryan Gallego’s bid was cleared off the line by the FGCU defense. Akron continued to apply pressure, as Ingham made two saves before Stevenson put the home team on the board at the 19:16 mark on a shot from the top of the goal box that found the upper left part of the net.
While Ingham was busy in goal over the opening 45 minutes, making four saves, FGCU’s lone shot – albeit a dangerous one – came in the 33rd minute when redshirt sophomore Henry Penagos (Margate, Fla./American Heritage School of Boca/Delray HS) nearly capitalized on an Akron turnover, but the shot whistled wide left.
FGCU was able to keep the Akron lead to 1-0 heading into the half despite the 8-1 disparity in shots.
Akron was able to get the insurance goal in the 57th minute on well-executed combination by Stevenson to Thomas Schmitt, who hit the ball from the right flank into the left corner to make it 2-0.
The Zips added a goal in the 63rd minute and another in the 74th to seal their sixth straight season-opening win.
FGCU will look to bounce on Monday afternoon when it heads to the nation’s capital to take on No. 16 Georgetown at 1 p.m. The Hoyas defeated ACC foe Virginia, 2-1, in double-overtime on Friday.