AKRON, Ohio - A pair of goals from sophomore Stuart Holthusen (Auckland, New Zealand) helped the seventh-ranked Akron men's soccer team claim its 18th Mid-American Conference title on the strength of a 4-0 Senior Night triumph past Bowling Green (9-9-2, 1-4-0 MAC) on Saturday, Nov. 7, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
By virtue of the victory over the Falcons, the Zips (13-3-2, 4-0-1 MAC) secured the right to host next weekend's MAC Men's Soccer Championship, where Akron will host fourth-seeded West Virginia in a 7 p.m. semifinal game on Friday, Nov. 13. Western Michigan will battle Buffalo in the other semifinal tilt at 4 p.m. The championship contest is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15.
The Zips recorded a 17-8 advantage over Bowling Green in shots in the affair, including posting a 7-4 advantage on frame. Holthusen registered a game-high four shots for Akron, while senior Sean Sepe (West Islip, N.Y.), redshirt sophomore Sam Gainford (Liverpool, England) and sophomore Richie Laryea (Toronto, Ontario (Canada)) added three, three and two shots, respectively. Jacob Roth directed the offensive efforts for the Falcons with a team-high three shots.
Playing in his final regular season home game as a Zip, senior goalkeeper Jake Fenlason (San Diego, Calif.) corralled four saves. Nick Landsberger recorded three stops in net for Bowling Green.
Holthusen netted what proved to be the game-winning goal at the 11:53 mark scooping up the deflection of Gainford's blocked shot in the box and blasting a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounded down past the line for his second goal of the year.
Less than a minute later in the 13th minute (12:41), it was Gainford that was the recipient of strong passes from Holthusen and Laryea and he delivered his eighth goal on the campaign to give the Zips a 2-0 lead.
Holthusen extended Akron's advantage to 3-0 at the 20:31 mark collecting his second tally of the night and third of the year. The ball was served into the corner to sophomore Nate Shultz (Mayfield, Ohio) by junior Adam Najem (Clifton, N.J.), where Shultz played the ball into the box to Holthusen, who headed the ball past Landsberger.
The Zips outshot the Falcons in the initial stanza, 11-4, and maintained a 3-0 halftime lead.
Inserted into the game as a second-half substitution, redshirt sophomore Tyler Sanda (North Royalton, Ohio) paid dividends to the Akron attack netting his second goal of the year in the 74th minute (73:18). Garnering assists on the tally were Najem and senior Andrew Souders (Amherst, Ohio).
Prior to the game, the Zips honored their three seniors in Fenlason, Sepe and Sounders in Senior Night festivities.