AKRON, Ohio - Senior Brad Ruhaak (Akron, Ohio) propelled the top-rated University of Akron men's soccer team to a season-opening 1-0 victory over No. 7 Georgetown (0-1) on Friday, Aug. 26, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field, scoring the game-winning tally for the Zips (1-0) with 36 seconds remaining in regulation (89:24).
Redshirt sophomore Ezana Kahsay (Asmeras, Eritrea) set up the goal as his strike from approximately 10 yards out in the 90th minute (89:22) was thwarted by a diving save from Georgetown goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski. The deflection bounded to the sliding feet of Ruhaak, who found the corner of the net for what proved to be the game-winning goal, with Kahsay garnering the assist.
The goal ended what proved to be a defensive battle with Marcinkowski making saves on eight of Akron's nine shots on goal.
Sophomore Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) made the most of his Zips' debut registering two saves en route to collecting the clean sheet.
Akron posted a 20-6 margin in shots, including 9-2 on goal. The Zips bettered the Hoyas in the opening half, 7-1, before outshooting Georgetown over the final stanza, 13-5.
Senior Adam Najem (Clifton, N.J.) and redshirt junior Sam Gainford (Liverpool, England) paced the Zips attack with a game-high four shots apiece. Adding two shots each for Akron were seniors Goncalo Soares (Lisbon, Portugal) and Victor Souto (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and redshirt junior Pau Belana (Barcelona, Catalonia). Arun Basuljevic and PJ Koscher recorded two shots apiece for the Hoyas.
Akron's best scoring opportunity in the first half came in the 39th minute (38:10) as Najem served a ball into the box that narrowly missed connecting on a header by a diving redshirt junior Tyler Sanda (North Royalton, Ohio).
Soares followed with a strong strike at the 40:27 mark that was corralled for a save by Marcinkowski.
Georgetown's Brett Campbell created a strong scoring chance from the side of the box in the 53rd minute (52:39) that went just high.
Soares' attempt on goal at the 54:33 mark was batted away by a save from Marcinkowski.
Najem nearly found the net in the 73rd minute (72:24), but Marcinkowski again denied his shot from six yards out.
The first shot of freshman Nick Hinds' (Plantation, Fla.) Akron career narrowly missed finding the back of the net at the 84:33 mark going high.
The Zips return to action on Sunday, Aug. 28, hosting No. 9 Seattle in the final game of the Akron Classic. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.