CINCINNATI, Ohio - The second-rated University of Akron men's soccer squad was unable to overcome an early deficit as the Zips dropped a 2-0 decision at Xavier (1-0) in their season opener on Friday, Aug. 30.
Akron (0-1) now faces a quick turnaround as the Zips welcome fourth-ranked Stanford to FirstEnergy Stadium for a 7 p.m. tilt on Monday, Sept. 2.
Akron registered a 16-7 margin in shots on the evening, including a 6-4 edge in shots on goal. The Zips garnered a game-high three shots apiece from junior David Egbo (Enugu, Nigeria), redshirt junior Diogo Pacheco (Lisbon, Portugal) and sophomore Sam Tojaga (Erie, Pa.). Samson Sergi directed the Musketeer's attack with a game-high three shots.
Matthew Rosenberg corralled six saves in goal for Xavier en route to posting the shutout, while redshirt junior goalkeeper Tor Saunders (Seattle, Wash.) made two stops for the Zips.
Freshman Will Jackson (Hudson, Ohio), who earned the start in his first collegiate game, headed a shot off a corner from sophomore Colin Biros (Jackson, Ohio) that was saved by Rosenberg at the 10:52 mark of the first half.
The Musketeers capitalized on their scoring opportunity in the 13th minute (12:05) as a side-winding kick in the box from Karsen Henderlong resulted in a goal off an assist from Payton Miller to give Xavier an early 1-0 advantage.
Tojaga had a shot in the box in the 45th minute (44:11) sail wide of the mark as the Zips entered the intermission trailing the Musketeers, 1-0.
Akron and Xavier registered four shots apiece in the opening stanza, with the Musketeers posting a 2-1 margin in shots on goal.
The Zips dominated the pace of play over the final 45 minutes registering a 12-3 advantage in shots, including a 5-2 edge in shots on frame.
Taylor Crull's shot for Xavier from just outside the six-yard box at the 48:46 mark was blocked to deny the scoring chance.
Pacheco had his shot in the 58th minute (57:14) blocked in the box, before Tojaga's redirect of the deflection went wide at the 57:19 mark.
A 1v1 shot opportunity by Pacheco in the box at the 61:43 mark bounced off the Xavier goalkeeper and nearly dribbled across the line for the goal in not for Rosenberg covering up the loose ball.
A shot by freshman Henrique Cruz (Fortaleza, Brazil) in the 69th minute (68:01) also went high of the mark.
Egbo unleashed a shot at the 69:41 mark that was pulled in again by Rosenberg for a save.
Junior Daniel Strachan (Lakewood, Ohio) got off a header in the box in the 73rd minute (72:52) courtesy of a corner by senior Skye Harter (Copley, Ohio) that was denied by a save.
Back-to-back shots at the 76:11 and 76:17 marks, respectively, by sophomore Marco Milanese (Isernia, Italy) and Egbo off a free kick by Harter were thwarted by strong saves from Rosenberg.
The Musketeers capitalized off the saves as Samson Sergi headed home a goal off a deflection on a cross in the 78th minute (77:22) to account for the final 2-0 score.
Sophomore Federico Serra (Cagliari, Italy) shot at the 82:17 mark went high, while freshman Bradley Chick (Melbourne, Australia) had his header off a Harter corner go wide in the 88th minute (87:51).