AKRON, Ohio –The second-ranked University of Akron men's soccer battled ninth-rated Butler (0-0-1) to a 2-2 double-overtime draw in the season opener for both schools on Friday, Aug. 24, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
The Zips (0-0-1) were directed by the first career multi-goal effort from sophomore David Egbo (Enugu, Nigeria), who registered goals in the 24th (23:16) and 44th (43:58) minutes, respectively.
The draw snapped Akron's 17-match home winning streak dating back to the 2016 campaign, while extending the Zips' home unbeaten streak to 18.
The Bulldogs connected on the game's first goal when Louis Bulger delivered a perfect strike on a free kick after Akron was whistled for a foul just outside of the 18-yard box at the 11:47 mark.
The Zips nearly netted the equalizer in the 13th minute (12:52) as only a diving lunge from Butler defender Kieran Geldenhuys for a team save prevented the header from Egbo from finding the back of the net.
The momentum continued in Akron's favor as senior Joe Korb (Willowick, Ohio) slotted a ball in from the corner outside the 18-yard box to Egbo, who tapped the laser into the goal for his first tally of the season at the 23:16 mark.
The Bulldogs were whistled for a foul in the box in the 41st minute (40:49) setting the stage for a penalty kick by senior Ezana Kahsay (Asmeras, Eritrea). The scoring opportunity was thwarted by a diving save from Butler goalkeeper Gabriel Gjergji.
The Bulldogs were again booked for a foul in the box at the 43:58 mark. Egbo stepped to the line and gave the Zips a 2-1 lead with a successful penalty kick. The goal resulted in the first career multi-goal effort for Egbo, who recorded one goal as a freshman in 2017.
Akron outshot the Bulldogs in the opening stanza, 5-4, including 4-1 on net, to maintain a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Brandon Guhl squared the contest at two in the 60th minute (59:40) tapping in a ball played in from the corner of the six-yard box by Alex Lehtinen.
Freshman Ivan Nikolic (Toronto, Ontario) made his collegiate debut for the Zips in the 65th minute and came within inches of collecting his first career goal at the 65:57 mark as the initial shot in his Akron career pinged off the crossbar.
Both squads had opportunities to go ahead in the final minutes of the second half, despite the Zips bettering Butler in shots, 10-5.
In overtime, Akron posted a 4-1 margin in shots, but were not able to find the golden goal. On the evening, the Zips outshot the Bulldogs, 19-10, including 5-4 on frame.
Egbo finished the evening with a game-high five shots, including three on goal, while senior Marco Micaletto (Reading, England) and Kahsay added three and two shots, respectively. The Bulldogs were paced by two shots apiece from Bulger, Guhl, Jack Haywood and Marco Charalambous.
Akron senior goalkeeper Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) made two saves for the Zips, while Gjergji made two stops for the Bulldogs.
Akron returns to action on Monday, Aug. 27, as the Zips welcome No. 23 North Carolina State into FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field for a 7 p.m. tilt. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN+.