EAST LANSING, Mich. – University of Akron men's soccer sophomore David Egbo (Enugu, Nigeria) and redshirt junior Skye Harter (Copley, Ohio) stole the show for the Zips (5-4-2) in a 2-1 road triumph over No. 8 Michigan State (9-2-2) on Tuesday, Oct. 9, as the duo accounted for both goals in the Akron victory.
"Top to bottom we had a tremendous effort from everyone tonight," Akron head coach Jared Embick commented. "It was a team victory for us. Our seniors – Morgan (Hackworth), Ezana (Kahsay) and Ben (Lundt) were excellent and Skye (Harter) was awesome. I couldn't be prouder of our fight. We have a big game on Saturday and we need to focus on that game. I hope we can fill the hill and keep the momentum going."
The road win may provide huge dividends down the road for the Zips this season as the Spartans came into contest rated 19th in the latest NCAA RPI report.
Coming off the bench in the 71st minute, Egbo scored what proved to be the game-winning tally at the 81:20 mark to give Akron a 2-1 lead. Harter delivered a ball into the center of the box, one which Egbo struck into the back of the net for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
The Zips dialed up their defensive efforts sparked by the backline play of senior Abdi Mohamed (Westerville, Ohio), sophomore Daniel Strachan (Lakewood, Ohio) and freshmen Pol Hernandez (Teia, Spain) and Carlo Ritaccio (Westbury, N.Y.) over the final nine minutes to extend their unbeaten road streak to four with the victory.
Fueled by a 9-6 edge in second-half shots, Akron finished the night posting a 12-10 advantage in shots, while each side recorded four shots on goal.
Harter directed the Zips' offensive efforts scoring a goal and adding an assist on the strength of a team-best three shots, while junior Marcel Zajac (Mississauga, Ontario) collected a pair of shots. Ryan Sierakowski led the Spartans with a game-high four shots.
Senior goalkeeper Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) made three saves in net for Akron to record the victory, while Jimmy Hague stopped a pair of shots in net for Michigan State.
On a ball placed just beyond the 18-yard box, Harter gave the Zips an early 1-0 advantage connecting on a free kick that found the corner of the net at the 8:40 mark for his first goal of the season.
Sierakowski followed striking a ball from the middle of the box for the Spartans, one which bent and struck the far post in the 12th minute (11:08) to deny the scoring chance.
Lundt made a diving save to the near post off a shot by Sierakowski at the 20:47 mark, before corralling another stop off the foot of DeJuan Jones' foot at the 24:58 mark.
Akron held a 1-0 advantage at the intermission despite being outshot in the opening stanza, 4-3, including 2-1 on goal.
Michigan State netted the equalizer in the 54th minute (53:47) when Michael Wetunga redirected a rebound off a Jones' shot for his first goal of the season.
Harter followed unleashing a strike in the box at the 77:08 mark that deflected off the Michigan State defender and narrowly missed finding the corner of the net for a go-ahead goal.
A shot by Zajac in the 80th minute (79:05) resulted in a save by Hague.
The momentum then swung in the Zips' favor on the strength of Egbo's goal.
A diving header by Jones at the 82:28 mark failed to hit the mark and stood as the last shot of the evening for the Spartans.
The Zips resume Mid-American Conference play hosting West Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 16. The 7 p.m. tilt at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field will be broadcast on ESPN+.