COLLEGE PARK, Md. - In the much-anticipated rematch of the 2018 College Cup finale, the University of Akron men's soccer team was unable to overcome a first-half goal from No. 14 Maryland, as the Terrapins (2-2-0) posted a 1-0 triumph past the Zips (0-4-0) on Friday, Sept. 13 before more than 4,400 college soccer fans at Ludiwg Field.
Maryland earned a 10-9 edge in shots on the evening, including a 3-2 margin in shots on goal.
Celebrating his birthday, redshirt junior Diogo Pacheco (Lisbon, Portugal) registered a game-high five shots, including a pair on frame to pace the Akron attack, while freshman Henrique Cruz (Fortaleza, Brazil) added three shots in reserve duty. Brayan Padilla led the Terrapins with a team- and game-best five shots.
Niklas Neumann collected a pair of saves in goal en route to earning the shutout for Maryland, while redshirt junior Tor Saunders (Seattle, Wash.) notched a pair of saves of his own for the Zips.
Neither side registered a shot in the match until a strike by Eric Matzelevich was denied by a save from Saunders at the 14:39 mark of the first half.
The Terrapins assumed a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute (17:04) as Matzelevich leveled a shot from 15 yards out that struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down behind the line for his second goal of the year. Earning an assist on the tally was Malcolm Johnston.
The Zips posted their first shot of the match at the 18:41 mark as freshman Will Jackson (Hudson, Ohio) played a ball inside the six-yard box for the 10 yards out that Pacheco headed into save at 18:41 mark.
Saunders registered a strong diving save off a free kick by Padilla in the 25th minute (24:47). Padilla had another strike go just high of the top of the net at the 27:16 mark.
Cruz had his shot in the box in the 30th minute (29:14) mark go just wide of a diving Neumann, before his shot at the 35:55 mark was blocked.
The Zips had one last surge in the final minute of the half with Pacheco turning in a strike in the 45th minute (44:42) from the top of the box that was blocked.
Maryland posted a 5-4 first-half edge in shots, including a 3-1 margin in shots on goal. Cruz and Pacheco each recorded a team-high two shots in the initial stanza.
Pacheco nearly leveled the score at one for Akron at the 49:04 mark as his laser hit the inside of the far post before bouncing out to thwart the scoring chance.
Pacheco then sliced down the sideline and slide a pass into the center of the box in 58th minute, a shot that deflected off the hand of Neumann just ahead of the Zips' attack by junior David Egbo (Enugu, Nigeria).
Pacheco had momentum pushing the ball into the offensive third at the 65:33 mark before his shot was blocked at top of the box.
The Terrapins came up just short of extending their advantage to 2-0 in the 70th minute (69:23) as Padilla just missed finding the top of the net off a free kick.
Freshman Mani Austmann (Gardabaer, Iceland) narrowly missed getting his foot on the ball inside the six-yard box in the 72nd minute before the ball was blocked out of bounds for an Akron corner kick.
Pacheco added another shot on frame at the 75:50 mark, one halted by a save from Neumann.
Back-to-back shots in the box by Austmann and Cruz were blocked in the box in the 82nd minute to deny the scoring chance for the Zips.
Justin Gielen had his strike for Maryland at the 83:19 mark sail wide.
Akron returns to action with a 7 p.m. match at Pittsburgh on Monday, Sept. 16. The contest against the Panthers will be broadcast on the ACC Network.