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Akron beats Grand Canyon, 3-2, in double-ot

Published: November 3, 2016

AKRON, Ohio - A golden goal from junior Stuart Holthusen (Auckland, New Zealand) at the 104:18 mark of the second overtime lifted the Akron men's soccer team to a 3-2 double-overtime victory past Grand Canyon (7-9-3) on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field.

Holthusen finished the affair registering his team-leading fourth career multi-goal contest on the strength of posting a game-high four shots.

The Zips (9-5-3) outshot the Lopes on the afternoon, 20-12, including 5-1 in overtime. Holthusen and freshman Jonathan Lewis (Plantation, Fla.) each recorded four shots for Akron, while adding two apiece were freshman Nick Hinds (Plantation, Fla.), redshirt junior Sam Gainford (Liverpool, England), senior Adam Najem (Clifton, N.J.) and redshirt sophomore Ezana Kahsay (Asmeras, Eritrea). Grand Canyon was directed by three shots from Niki Jackson.

Sophomore goalkeeper Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) posted two saves for the Zips, while Kendyl Day netted four stops for the Lopes.

The game-winning tally for Gainford was set-up of a pair of skilled passes inside the box from Kahsay and the final feed from Lewis, who recorded his team-leading seventh assist of the year.

In the opening half, junior Niko De Vera (Camas, Wash.) played a ball in from the corner of the box eluding the Lopes' defender and serving it into Lewis inside the six-yard box. Lewis was able to chest to ball past Day for his second goal of the season to give Akron a 1-0 lead at the 7:37 mark.

The Lopes netted the equalizer in the 32nd minute (31:53) when Jackson connected on his 16th goal of the year. The scoring play was set up by Charles Keating corralling a deflection off a cross and sliding a pass into Jackson at the top of the six-yard box for the goal.

Najem delivered a shot on goal at the 38:03 mark that was pulled in for a save by Day.

Senior Brad Ruhaak (Akron, Ohio) nearly found the back of the net in the 42nd minute (41:45) as his header off a corner from redshirt junior Pau Belana (Barcelona, Catalonia) was again thwarted by a stop from Day.

Kahsay's sliding attempt at scoring in the 44th minute (43:26) off a serve from Lewis was blocked.

Akron outshot Grand Canyon in the opening stanza, 9-3, including 3-1 on goal.

Lundt denied a shot from Jackson at the 55:26 mark before Holthusen propelled the Zips into a 2-1 lead in the 61st minute (60:17) with his third goal of the season. Redshirt junior Robby Dambrot (Akron, Ohio) served a ball in from the flank to a charging Holthusen who raced 1v1 versus Day before unleashing a goal from 15 yards out.

Lundt denied another shot on goal from Damian German at the 64:39 mark before Jamie Olabarria tied the affair at two with initial goal of the year in the 67th minute (66:24). Earning assists on the score was Aidan McGlothan and Khadim Seye.

Dambrot got off a strike in the box at the 81:06 mark that was saved before Holthusen's follow went wide at 81:12.

The Lopes outshot the Zips in the second half, 8-6, including 3-2 on frame, as the squads went into overtime tied at two.

Alejandr Radilla's shot in the 92nd minute (91:52) inside the six-yard box went wide.

Hinds' strike at the 96:23 mark for the Zips was off target going wide.

Holthusen delivered a shot on goal at the 98:00 mark which was saved by Day before the rebound popped out to Lewis, who knocked a ball that appeared destined to find the corner of the net for the golden goal if not for a team save by Grand Canyon.

Akron had one final attempt in the first overtime period as Najem struck a free kick from just outside the corner of the box that was blocked.

Akron returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 5, as the Zips host Western Michigan on Senior Night. Game time at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field is set for 7:30 p.m. The Zips will honor five players in Najem, Ruhaak, Danilo Radjen (Broadview Heights, Ohio), Tyler Sanda (North Royalton, Ohio) and Goncalo Soares (Lisbon, Portugal) in Senior Night festivities.

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