AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron men's soccer team garnered goals from redshirt junior Diogo Pacheco (Lisbon, Portugal) and freshman Will Jackson (Hudson, Ohio) en route to opening Mid-American Conference play with a 2-1 triumph past Bowling Green (7-4-1, 0-1-0 MAC) on Saturday, Oct. 12, at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Zips (2-8-1, 1-0-0 MAC) dominated the contest registering a 20-6 edge in shots, including posting a season-high 10 shots on goal for a 10-3 advantage in shots on frame.
Jackson and senior Christian Lue Young (Plantation, Fla.) led Akron's offensive attack posting a game-high four shots apiece, including two shots on goal each, while Pacheco added three shots in reserve duty. Six different Falcons added one shot apiece.
Junior goalkeeper Joe Bowles (Stratford, England) collected two saves in net for the Zips to earn the victory, while Anthony Mwembia turned in a stellar effort for the Falcons registering eight saves.
Making his return to the Akron line-up after missing the last two contests, Pacheco made an immediate impact for the Zips after being inserted into the match at the 26:51 mark, as he connected on a goal in the 34th minute (33:06). Sophomore Pol Hernandez (Teia, Spain) delivered a ball just to the top of the box that was deflected by Jackson to the feet of Pacheco, who struck a laser into the corner of the net for his first goal of the season.
Akron took a 1-0 lead into the intermission on the strength of a 4-2 edge in shots in the opening half.
The Zips dialed up their offensive firepower in the second half recording a 16-4 margin in overall shots and a 9-2 advantage in shots on goal.
In what he later described as a moment he had been dreaming about since third grade, Jackson netted his first collegiate goal, a game-winner, at the 58:36 mark, off a strike from 22 yards out, one that bested Mwembia and gave the Zips a 2-0 lead.
Sophomore Colin Biros (Jackson, Ohio), Jackson, Hernadez and freshman Mani Austmann (Gardabaer, Iceland) connected on shots on goal in the 60th (59:25), 65th (64:22 and 64:57) and 67th (66:24) minutes, respectively, that were thwarted by saves from Mwembia.
A defensive turnover at the 69:32 mark allowed Bowling Green to cut the Zips' lead in half as Chris Sullivan scored his fifth goal of the season.
Akron continued to pepper the Falcons with shots as the Zips closed the contest with a 6-2 edge in shots, including strikes on net from Lue Young (71:42 and 77:27), Hernandez (73:31), and Austmann (77:20).
Bowles notched saves at the 86:30 and 87:48 marks, respectively, off shots from Achille Robin and Abdi Faqi.
Up next for Akron, the Zips welcome Michigan State to FirstEnergy Stadium for a rematch of their 2019 College Cup showdown with the Spartans on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.