TAMPA, Fla. – Junior Ashley Hughes scored a pair of goals and freshman Karina Atkinson tallied a goal and an assist to lead The University of Akron women’s soccer team to a 4-0 win over Florida Atlantic on Sunday morning in the final game of the South Florida Tournament.
TheAkron(2-3-0) win snapped a three-game losing skid. The four goals in the match were the most scored by the Zips since defeatingPittsburgh6-2 in the 2008 season-opener.
“This weekend was a perfect preparation for our conference season,” UA coach Chris Pfau said. The Zips were defeated bySouth Florida1-0 on Friday. “We bounced back today with a fine win over a tough opponent.”
Senior goalkeeper Jeny Wolbert and redshirt freshman Alex Luevano-Harden combined for the clean sheet. Wolbert made three saves in 70-plus minutes in net and Luevano-Harden made one stop after coming on in the 72nd minute. Kyarah Foushee also scored forAkron – her second goal of the season – and Rachel Phillip and Kelly DeNiro each fired two shots in the game.
Akronjumped to a 3-0 lead in the first half, opening the scoring on its first shot of the contest when Hughes scored her first of two goals in the 21st minute on an assist from sophomore Gillian Gross. Gross sent in a cross from 35 yards out that Hughes brought down with her chest and finished to FAU keeper Ashley Lantes’ back post. The helper from Gross was the first point of her career.
The Zips doubled the lead ten minutes later when Atkinson – making her collegiate debut - found the net for the first time in her young career in the 31st minute. DeNiro fired a shot that Lantes parried into the path of Atkinson, who buried the rebound into the back of the net to give UA the 2-0 advantage.
Foushee scored her second goal of the season in the 41st minute when Atkinson found her in space in the middle of the penalty area. Foushee then ripped a shot into the upper right corner of the net.
Hughes completed her double when she was dragged down in the box by Lantes as she moved in all alone on the FAU net in the 66th minute. Senior midfielder Jordan Clark played the initial through ball to Hughes, who finished the resulting penalty low to the keeper’s left.
Akronoutshot the Owls 11-7 in the match, including a 7-4 advantage in shots on goal.
“With today's result we demonstrated defensive resilience and a sharpness in front of goal that we plan to build upon through our season,” Pfau said. “It was also great to get our whole travel roster some minutes during today.”
Zips Notebook: The goals by Ashley Hughes were the third and fourth scores of her career … The last Zips player to score multiple goals in a match was Jordan Clark who scored a pair againstBuffalolast season on Oct. 24 … Jeny Wolbert is one win shy of the UA career goaltending wins record. Wolbert has won 20 games in her career and trails Krystin Wilson who won 21 games from 2004-07.