AKRON, Ohio – Despite being a man down for the final 52 minutes of the match, the No. 4 University of Akron men's soccer team earned a 1-1 draw against No. 16 New Mexico at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field Friday night in front of 4,301 fans.
The double overtime game, which was broadcast on FOX Soccer Channel, was the second contest of the annual University of Akron Tournament. Cal Poly, Akron's next opponent Sunday at 6 p.m., defeated Syracuse in the first match of the day, 2-1.
With the draw, the Zips (3-0-2), who out-shot the Lobos 9-8, extended their NCAA record home unbeaten streak to 41 games (38-0-3).
Akron drew first blood in the 36th minute off a well-executed corner kick goal.
DeAndre Yedlin, who made a number of dangerous runs down the right side of the field in the opening period, earned UA the opportunity by playing the ball off a UNM defender near the touch line.
Aodhan Quinn played the corner short to Scott Caldwell, who quickly sent the ball back to Quinn to set up the leftsider's service into the box. Michael Balogun, who scored his first goal as a Zip on a corner kick against Cleveland State in the season opener, crashed through the block of defenders and headed the ball off the crossbar and in to the net.
The Zips, who took a 1-0 lead into intermission, found more rhythm in the second half and pressed on for a second goal. But leading scorer Darren Mattocks was shown a straight red in the 58th minute.
Nonetheless, UA showed tremendous resolve and continued to press the rest of the match – nearly finding the net on a number of tries during a frantic sequence in the 79th minute.
With numbers forward, Caldwell fired a shot from the right flank that was punched out by New Mexico keeper Victor Rodriguez. Freshman Akeil Barrett redirected the rebound towards the net from straight on but a Lobos defender was there to clear the ball off the line.
Quinn had one more chance just seconds later with a strike from the top of the box but once again the Lobos defense held up.
In an unfortunate turn for UA, UNM (4-0-2) then scored the equalizer in the 81st minute when Devon Sandoval and Kyle Venter combined on a set piece goal with Venter finding the net with a header following a volley in the box.
Akron had the best chance of ending the game by either team early in the second overtime period when Caldwell slipped the ball to Barrett, who was one-on-one with the keeper on the near right flank, but his low liner sailed wide right.