AKRON, Ohio – Overcoming a persistent and at times deluge of rain, the fifth-rated University of Akron men's soccer team scored a pair of second-half goals to register its third consecutive shutout with a 2-0 triumph over Marshall (7-8-1) on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
The Zips (13-3-1) garnered tallies from senior Stuart Holthusen (Auckland, New Zealand), the United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week, and redshirt sophomore Skye Harter (Copley, Ohio) in the 67th (66:13) and 81st (80:11) minutes, respectively, to collect the victory.
Akron parlayed a 14-4 advantage in second-half shots, as part of an overall 20-9 edge in shots, including 7-1 on goal, into its seventh consecutive win.
Holthusen and fellow senior Sam Gainford (Liverpool, England) directed the Zips' offensive efforts with a game-high four shots apiece, while freshman Joao Moutinho (Lisbon, Portugal) added three shots for Akron. Pedro Dolabella led the Thundering Herd with a team-best three shots.
Junior goalkeeper Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) earned his third straight and seventh overall clean sheet of the season for the Zips on the strength on making one save. Nate Himes recorded five stops in net for Marshall.
The two teams battled through a defensive first stanza in which neither side posted a shot on goal until Harter unleashed a strike on net as time expired in the initial half.
Jamil Roberts nearly capitalized on a free kick for the Thundering Herd at the 31:30 as his shot went just over the top of the net.
Gainford had a scoring opportunity of his own in the 37th minute (36:48) as his shot from the corner of box went high.
The Zips edged Marshall in first-half shots, 6-5.
After the Thundering Herd posted the initial two shots of the second half, Akron answered with three consecutive shots of its own, including a Gainford shot pulled in for a save by Himes at the 52:41 mark, and a header by Holthusen in the 54th minute (53:10) that went high.
The Zips unleashed a flurry of shots in the box in the 63rd minute, including one by Holthusen and a pair from Moutinho, each of which was blocked to deny the scoring threat.
The Zips finally broke through at the 66:13 mark when Gainford was tackled from behind in the box to set up a penalty kick for Akron. Stepping to the line and delivering his team-leading sixth goal of the year on what proved to be the game-winning tally was Holthusen.
Freshman David Egbo (Enugu, Nigeria) recorded a creative scoring chance of his own at the 75:51 mark as his header on goal was saved by Himes.
Egbo continued to push the attack offensively for Akron as his pass to Harter in the 81st minute (80:11) resulted in a goal and a 2-0 lead for the Zips. The tally was the third of the season for Harter with earning his third assist on the campaign.
Akron closes out its regular season on Saturday, Nov. 4, as the Zips welcome Northern Illinois to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field for a 7 p.m. tilt. Akron will honor seniors Pau Belana (Barcelona, Catalonia), Nate Brown (Scarborough, Ontario), Manuel Cordeiro (Porto, Portugal), Niko De Vera (Camas, Wash.), Dener Dos Santos (Joinville, Brazil), Gainford, Holthusen, Barth-Luther Mouafo (Douala, Cameroon) and Nate Shultz (Mayfield, Ohio) in pregame Senior Night festivities.