AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron sophomore David Egbo (Enugu, Nigeria) delivered what proved to be the game-winning tally in the fifth minute (4:17) and the second-ranked Zips locked down defensively over the remainder of its tilt with Pittsburgh to register a 1-0 victory on Saturday, Sept. 1, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
Egbo scored his team-leading third goal of the season off a strong pass into the box by sophomore Daniel Strachan (Lakewood, Ohio) to give Akron a 1-0 lead.
A sliding save by Zips' senior goalkeeper Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) at the 18:44 mark prevented the Panthers from netting the equalizer off a strike in the box by Dexter Alexander.
Akron appeared to assume a 2-0 lead in the 22nd minute (21:43) as senior Abdi Mohamed (Westerville, Ohio) ricocheted a laser off the foot of Egbo into the back of the net. The tally though was taken off the board as the Zips were whistled for an offsides call.
Akron maintained a 1-0 advantage at halftime despite Pittsburgh finishing the initial stanza outshooting the Zips, 9-1, including 2-1 on frame.
Freshman Sam Tojaga (Erie, Pa.) got off a quality look for Akron in the 51st minute (50:57) in the box, but his shot sailed just high of frame.
Egbo added a shot on goal at the 57:40 mark, one that was denied by a save by Panthers' goalkeeper Johan Penaranda.
The Zips again had a solid scoring opportunity in the 79th minute (78:56) as senior Marco Micaletto (Reading, England) played a ball into the box to Mohamed off a corner kick by redshirt junior Skye Harter (Copley, Ohio). The strike was again thwarted by a save from Penaranda.
A game-saving sliding tackle in the box by freshman Carlo Ritaccio (Westbury, N.Y.) denied Alexander from getting off a shot on goal for Pittsburgh with 7:15 remaining in the game.
Senior Morgan Hackworth (Bradenton, Fla.) capped the Zips' efforts with a shot that went just wide at the 87:57 mark off a pass from redshirt freshman Braden Petno (Hudson, Ohio).
Despite registering an 8-4 margin in second-half shots, including 3-0 on goal, Akron was outshot on the evening, 13-9.
Egbo paced the Zips with a team-high three shots, while Tojaga contributed a pair of strikes in reserve duty. Javi Perez directed Pittsburgh's attack with a game-high four shots.
Lundt registered a pair of saves in the match to notch his first clean sheet of the season. The shutout was the 21st of his Akron career to move him into a tie with Justin Christafaris (2001-04) for seventh on the all-time career list for the Zips. Penaranda wrapped up the evening with three saves for the Panthers.
Akron returns to action traveling across the country to Seattle, Wash., for a 10:30 p.m. ET showdown with Seattle on Friday, Sept. 7. The Zips edged the Redhawks, 3-0, in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.