BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A golden goal by junior Adam Najem (Clifton, N.J.) in the 99th minute (98:18) lifted No. 7 Akron (7-2-1) to a 2-1 double-overtime triumph past UAB (3-7-0) on Saturday, Oct. 3.
"We really had to grind this victory out," Akron head coach Jared Embick commented. "UAB played well and this is a tough team. We showed great determination to get the result. We are in the part of the schedule where we just have to find ways to win. The ability to grind out wins will continue to help our confidence grow. I hope to see everyone Tuesday as we have a tough Santa Clara team coming in."
The Zips registered a 20-7 advantage in shots, including 6-3 on goal, en route to netting their third consecutive victory.
Akron got off three shots in overtime with the final one resulting in Najem's team-leading sixth goal of the season off an assist from redshirt sophomore Tyler Sanda (North Royalton, Ohio).
Sophomore Richie Laryea (Toronto, Ontario (Canada)) turned in a game-high six shots to direct the offensive efforts of the Zips. Redshirt sophomore Robby Dambrot (Akron, Ohio), Najem and redshirt sophomore Sam Gainford (Liverpool, England) off the bench added four, three and two shots, respectively, to Akron's winning efforts. Freddy Ruiz directed UAB with a team-high three shots.
Senior goalkeeper Jake Fenlason (San Diego, Calif.) pulled in two saves for the Zips, while Hunter Weber made four stops for the Blazers.
The two sides battled through a scoreless first half in which the two sides combined to record 10 shots, with Akron outshooting UAB, 6-4.
Laryea connected on his fourth goal of the season at the 72:18 mark to give the Zips a 1-0 lead. Earning the assist on the tally was Najem with his fourth assist of the season.
The advantage was short lived as the Blazers netted the equalizer in the 75th minute (74:39) when Ruiz found the back of the net for his third goal on the campaign.
Akron returns to action on Tuesday, Oct. 6, as the Zips welcome Santa Clara to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field for a 7 p.m. tilt.