AKRON, Ohio – A first-half goal by senior Stuart Holthusen (Auckland, New Zealand) proved to be all the scoring the Akron men's soccer team needed as the 16th-rated Zips registered a 2-0 victory past No. 10 Washington on Friday, Sept. 1, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
The Zips' (1-2-0) garnered the triumph in their 2017 home opener and dealt the Huskies (2-1-0) their initial setback on the campaign.
Holthusen scored what proved to be the game-winning tally in the 31st minute (30:27) taking a pass at the top of the box from freshman Daniel Strachan (Lakewood, Ohio) and spinning past the defender before beating Washington goalkeeper Saif Kerawala from 15 yards out for his initial goal of the season. The assist was the first collegiate point for Strachan.
Redshirt sophomore Skye Harter (Copley, Ohio) nearly opened the scoring at the 27:55 mark as he played a ball off his chest and to his feet where he delivered a strike that was pulled in for a save by Kerawala.
Coming in as a defensive substitution in 33rd minute (32:08), redshirt junior Ezana Kahsay (Asmeras, Eritrea) fired a shot in the box which nearly found the back of the net if not for Garrett Jackson clearing the ball off the line for a team save.
Akron outshot Washington in the opening 45 minutes, 8-1, including posting a 3-0 advantage in shots on goal.
Senior Manuel Cordeiro (Porto, Portugal) added another shot on goal for the Zips at the 50:49 mark, one that was saved by Kerawala.
Senior Sam Gainford (Liverpool, England), playing in his first game of the season, created his own offense in the 62nd minute (61:28) swinging a ball around the box and along the end line before connecting on a laser which bested Kerawala to the inside corner of the net for his first goal of the year.
The Zips finished the evening besting the Huskies in shots, 15-8, including a 6-2 margin in shots on goal.
Gainford led Akron with a game-high three shots, while Holthusen, Cordeiro and freshman David Egbo (Enugu, Nigeria) added two shots apiece. Quentin Pearson and Joey Parish each recorded two shots each for Washington.
Junior goalkeeper Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) pulled in a pair of stops en route to collecting the clean sheet with his 12th career shutout at Akron. Kerawala registered a game-high three saves for the Huskies.
The Zips return to action on Sept. 9 as Akron travels to Santa Barbara, Calif., for a 10 p.m. ET tilt at UC Santa Barbara.