AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron women’s soccer team kept its second consecutive clean sheet with a 2-0 defeat of Eastern Illinois at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field on Saturday afternoon.
Senior goalkeeper Jeny Wolbert was forced to make just a pair of saves in recording her second shutout of the season. The win was the 21st win of Wolbert’s career moving her into a tie for the UA career record for goaltending wins. Krystin Wilson also recorded 21 wins from 2004-07.
Sophomore midfielder Kelly DeNiro and senior forward Rachel Phillip each scored for Akron. Senior midfielder Jordan Clark was a threat all afternoon and totaled four shots in the contest.
The Zips (3-3-0) dominated possession throughout the contest, holding a 13-4 advantage in shots and an 8-4 edge in corner kicks.
DeNiro provided the Zips with the early edge, with a blast in the 28th minute. The sophomore midfielder collected a loose ball on the top left of the box, took a settling touch, and launched a laser into the upper 90 that left EIU keeper Jessica Taldone with no chance. It was DeNiro’s first goal of the season and the second of her career.
Akron continue to apply pressure after the DeNiro tally, forcing Taldone to make four more saves prior to halftime. The pressure culminated with Kyarah Foushee nearly doubling the score with less than a minute remaining in the half. Ashley Hughes played her into the center of the area with Taldone charging out to produce a kick save of Foushee’s shot to keep the game at 1-0.
The Zips continued to control the match in the second half, and doubled the lead in the 54th minute on Phillip’s first goal of the season. Freshman Karina Atkinson found Phillip in space in the penalty area with a pass from the left endline. Phillip then froze Taldone with a low shot from 14 yards out that glanced off the right post and into the net. Atkinson picked up assist number two on the season.
UA just missed a third goal in the game’s final minutes when Ashley Hughes point blank shot was stopped by EIU back-up netminder Brittany O’Dell. Senior defender Kara Cooper created the chance with a lung-busting run down the right flank. Cooper then fed Hughes on the six-yard box, whose one-timer was knocked away by O’Dell.
The Zips will begin Mid-American Conference play next weekend when they play Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. UA takes on CMU Friday at 7:30 p.m. and EMU Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Zips Notebook: Rachel Phillip now has 13 career goals and stands in third place on the UA career goals list. Britni Back (2006-09) is second with 16 career goals … Jeny Wolbert’s shutout was the 12th of her career … The Zips have not conceded a goal in 206 minutes.