AKRON, Ohio – The No. 5 University of Akron men's soccer team put together a commanding 2-0 victory over Hartwick Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
It was the 100th career win for UA head coach Caleb Porter, who became the fastest in program history to reach the century mark. Porter, who is in his sixth season at Akron, has now compiled a record of 100-14-12 in 126 games.
The Zips (10-1-2, 3-0 Mid-American Conference) dominated possession throughout the contest and out-shot the Hawks, 27-2, including a 12-0 margin on frame. As a team, Akron earned its ninth shutout in 13 matches while extending its NCAA record, home unbeaten streak to 46 games.
Junior Thomas Schmitt recorded his second game-winner of the season on a sharp give-and-go play with Aodhan Quinn in the 67th minute. Sophomore Darren Mattocks made it 2-0 with his 12th goal in 12 matches in the 86th minute.
The final margin could have easily been greater had it not been for a truly commendable game by Hartwick goalkeeper Mateo Munarriz, who was quick off his line all night and finished with 10 saves.
The Zips were patient with their attack and wore down the defense with relentless pressure in the final third. Hartwick (5-5-2, 1-1-0), which was more than happy than to sit back and rely on counter attacks and set pieces, was able to keep UA off the board in the first half but could not withstand the assault after the intermission.
Akron out-shot Hartwick, 19-1, in the second half alone and finally broke through when Schmitt played a ball to Quinn, who one-touched it back to set up the decisive goal. Schmitt took the pass on the right flank and fired a low liner just inside the far post from 10 yards out.
Not satisfied, the Zips continued to press on and found the second goal when Reinaldo Brenes sprung Mattocks with a long pass from midfield. The Jamaican striker, who had slipped behind the Hawks' back four, tactfully pulled the keeper out of position with a quick run on the right side of the field before chipping a shot over his head and into the back left corner of the net.
Akron earned free kicks from a couple of dangerous spots on the field in the first half but couldn't cash in as Scott Caldwell's first service was blocked and his second sailed high. UA's best opportunity to score in the opening period came in the 41st minute when Mattocks gathered a loose ball on the right side of the penalty area and fired a point-blank shot that was turned away by Munarriz.
Mattocks ran wild all night with eight shots, including four on goal. Quinn and Schmitt were active as well with five and four shots, respectively.
The Zips will next head to Ann Arbor to face their NCAA semifinal opponent from a year ago, Michigan Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network as well as by 1350 AM (WARF).
Zips Notebook: In his sixth season, Porter is among the fastest of all Division I coaches all-time to reach 100 career wins, accomplishing the feat in fewer seasons than legendary Hall of Fame coaches Indiana's Jerry Yeagley (7), San Francisco's Gus Donoghue (7) and Virginia's Bruce Arena (8), among others ... Akron extended its conference unbeaten streak to 34 games, which is the fifth longest in NCAA history ... The Zips have won their last 24 regular-season matches against the MAC and are 8-1-2 all-time versus Hartwick.