AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron men's soccer team broke open a tight contest with a pair of late first-half goals before garnering a pair of second-half hat tricks from senior Ezana Kahsay (Asmeras, Eritrea) and sophomore David Egbo (Enugu, Nigeria) en route to a 10-0 triumph over Canisius on Saturday, Sept. 15, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
The win marked the Zips' largest margin of victory in a match since downing Cleveland State, 12-2 during the 2005 campaign.
The hat tricks for Ebgo and Kahsay marked the first in the respective careers for each Zip and represented the first by an Akron player since Stuart Holthusen collected three goals in a 4-0 victory over West Virginia on Oct. 27, 2018.
Despite the final outcome, the game proved to be a defensive battle over the opening 30 minutes of play as the Golden Griffins held a 3-0 edge in shots before senior Marco Micaletto (Reading, England) posted the Zips first shot of the evening at the 30:12 mark, a strike pulled in for a save by Canisius goalkeeper Bryce Tramuta.
Egbo and freshman Sam Tojaga (Erie, Pa.) added shots for Akron before Kahsay scored what proved to be the game-winning tally in the 38th minute (37:45). Micaletto played a ball in from the corner of the box which was flicked with a back heel by Egbo to a charging Kahsay, who converted the scoring chance into his first goal of the season.
Just over a minute later at the 38:56 mark, senior Morgan Hackworth (Bradenton, Fla.) gave Akron a 2-0 lead with his initial tally of the year. Egbo earned the assist delivering a ball through the middle of the defense into the box where Hackworth delivered a finishing strike to the corner of the net.
The Zips finished the opening stanza outshooting the Golden Griffins, 6-4, including 4-2 on frame, and held a 2-0 lead.
Before Akron fans could blink in the second half Egbo connected on his team-leading fourth goal of the season at the 45:30 mark. Hackworth delivered a perfect throw-in to Egbo, who secured the ball over the defender and nailed a shot past Tramuta to extend the Zips' lead to 3-0.
In the 51st minute (50:06), Egbo created his own offense taking a ball down the middle of the pitch and unleashing a shot from 22 yards out that found the back of the net to push Akron's advantage to 4-0.
Egbo capped his first career hat trick at the 54:23 mark registering his team-leading sixth goal of the season. Redshirt junior Skye Harter (Copley, Ohio) played a ball from the top of the box to the corner where Kahsay pushed the ball back to the center of the box where Egbo finished for the goal.
Kahsay garnered his first career multi-goal performance delivering his second tally of the evening in the 66th minute (65:13) off assists from Micaletto and freshman Pol Hernandez (Teia, Spain). The assist was the first career point for Hernandez.
Entering the contest following the goal to record his initial minutes of the season was junior Marcel Zajac (Mississauga, Ontario). His efforts paid off immediately as Canisius was whistled for a foul in the box at the 67:29 mark setting up a successful penalty kick by Zajac to give Akron a 7-0 lead.
Making his collegiate debut and earning the start for the Zips was redshirt sophomore Diogo Pacheco (Lisbon, Portugal). His persistence in the attack for Akron was rewarded as Pacheco connected on goals at the 77:20 and 78:14 marks, respectively. Junior Leonard Sohn (Richmond Hill, Ontario) and Zajac earned the assist on Pacheco's first tally, while Zajac posted his second assist of the evening on the second goal. Sohn's assist was his first collegiate point for Akron.
Kahsay capped the scoring on the evening and completed his first career hat trick with a score in the 84th minute (83:36). Canisius goalkeeper Tom Crosbie turned the ball over to Kahsay, who passed the ball to Zajac, who in turn returned it to Kahsay, who found the back of the net to wrap a 10-0 victory.
Senior goalkeeper Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) finished the game making three saves to post his 22nd career clean sheet for the Zips, while Tramuta made four saves for the Golden Griffins.
Akron concluded the evening owning a 21-5 margin in shots, including 14-3 on goal. The Zips were led by a trio of game-high four-shot performances from Egbo, Micaletto and Pacheco, while Kahsay and Zajac added three and two shots, respectively. Melvin Blair led Canisius with a team-high two shots.
Akron returns to action traveling to Phoenix, Ariz., for a 10 p.m. showdown on Thursday, Sept. 20, versus Grand Canyon.