HAMILTON, N.Y. – The University of Akron men's soccer team garnered second-half goals from junior Marcel Zajac (Mississauga, Ontario) and senior Morgan Hackworth (Brandenton, Fla.) to propel the Zips (12-6-2) to a 3-1 victory over Syracuse (7-7-4) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 18, on the campus of Colgate University.
Akron now advances to face top-seeded Wake Forest on a date and time next weekend to be determined later.
The Zips have now won six straight matches on the strength of outshooting the Orange, 20-18, including 11-7 on net.
Sophomore David Egbo (Enugu, Nigeria) and Zajac directed Akron with a team-high four shots apiece, while Mohamed, senior Ezana Kahsay (Asmeras, Eritrea) and sophomore Daniel Strachan (Lakewood, Ohio) added three, two and two shots, respectively. Hugo Delhommelle led Syracuse with a game-high five shots.
Senior goalkeeper Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) pulled in five saves for the Zips, while Hendrik Hilpert posted eight stops for the Orange.
Senior Abdi Mohamed (Westerville, Ohio) gave the Zips a 1-0 lead at the 36:43 mark connecting on his first goal of the season. Egbo knocked a ball off the Syracuse defender in the box which Mohamed corralled and redirected the rebound into the corner of the net.
The Orange netted the equalizer in the 42nd minute (41:54) when Massimo Ferrin scored his fifth goal of the year.
Akron was outshot in the opening half, 12-10, including 6-5 on goal.
Zajac scored what proved to be the game-winning tally in the 74th minute (73:47) for his seventh goal of the season. Mohamed struck a ball from the corner of the box, approximately 15 yards out, that deflected off the hand of Hilpert for a save. Zajac was right on the spot to punch in the rebound for the goal.
Hackworth capped the scoring headed home his fourth goal of the season at the 80:03 mark. Freshman Sam Tojaga (Erie, Pa.) served a ball in from outside the box into the far post where Hackworth connected for the game's final score.