AKRON, Ohio - A goal in the 89th minute (88:50) from Zach Ryan lifted third-rated Stanford to a 2-1 men's soccer victory over No. 2 Akron before 3,617 fans at FirstEnergy Stadium on Monday evening, Sept. 2.
The tally spoiled a highly-competitive contest between two of the better teams in the nation over recent years, one that appeared destined for overtime to determine a winner.
Despite being outshot by a 19-12 margin in shots, the Zips recorded an 8-4 edge in shots on goal on the evening. Junior David Egbo (Enugu, Nigeria) directed all players with a game-high five shots, including four on frame, while freshman Will Jackson (Hudson, Ohio) added three shots for Akron. Logan Panchot led the Cardinal with a team-high four shots.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Tor Saunders (Seattle, Wash.) registered a pair of saves for the Zips, while Andrew Thomas made six stops for Stanford.
The game-winning tally was set-up by an assist from Jared Gilbey, who flicked a ball into the box to Ryan, who headed it home for his first goal of the season at the 88:50 mark.
Egbo delivered the initial shot on goal in the contest, a strike from 10 yards out that was pulled in for a save by Thomas, in the ninth minute (8:36).
The Zips were whistled for a handball in the box at the 12:25 mark that enabled Tanner Beason to deliver a successful penalty to give Stanford the early 1-0 lead.
Sophomore Marco Milanese (Isernia, Italy) got off a shot for Akron in the 17th minute (16:49), one that was denied by a save from Thomas.
Egbo followed unleashing a laser from 30 yards out at the 23:38 mark that was thwarted by a diving save from Thomas.
The Zips had a nifty run of play in the 25th minute (24:20) where Jackson played a ball into Egbo, who in turn sliced a feed into redshirt junior Diogo Pacheco (Lisbon, Portugal), that came up short of connecting for a shot.
Egbo answered again for Akron with a strike at the 26:17 mark that was blocked in the box.
Senior Skye Harter (Copley, Ohio) recorded a shot on goal in the 33rd minute (32:29), before Jackson followed with a strike at the 36:47 mark, both of which were pushed away thanks to saves from Thomas.
Akron entered the intermission trailing Stanford, 1-0, despite owning an 8-6 edge in shots, including a 5-1 margin on goal.
Forty-three seconds into the second half at the 45:43 mark, Egbo netted the equalizer for the Zips, converting his first goal of the season. Earning assists on the play with a pair of strong passes was Jackson and freshman Henrique Cruz (Fortaleza, Brazil).
Saunders notched saves in the 49th (48:43) 64th (63:43) minutes, respectively, including one from three yards out, off of shots from Panchot.
Egbo nearly gave the Zips a 2-1 lead at the 70:39 mark getting behind Thomas on a 1v1 opportunity and unleashing a shot across his body that only a team save from Keegan Hughes prevented him from recording his fourth career multi-goal affair.
Sophomore Carlo Ritaccio (Westbury, N.Y.) had a shot on goal of his own in the 86th minute (85:07) that went just high of the goal off a pass from Jackson.
That attempt marked the final shot of the evening for Akron, who was ultimately bested when Ryan scored the game-winning tally at the 88:50 mark.
The Zips return to action with an 8:30 p.m. match at Creighton on Friday, Sept. 6, in Omaha, Neb.