AKRON, Ohio – Katie Wise’s 81st minute strike was the breakthrough for The University of Akron women’s soccer team Friday night, as they downed Bowling Green, 1-0, on Senior Night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
The win came in front of a UA women’s soccer record crowd of 942 and catapulted the Zips (6-5-2, 3-2-2) to the top of the Mid-American Conference East standings. Bowling Green drops to 5-11-0 and 2-5-0 in the conference.
The victory extended Akron’s regular season unbeaten streak against MAC East division foes to 11 games (10-0-1). The Zips have not lost a MAC East regular season match since the end of the 2008 season.
Senior Rachel Phillip fired three shots, while Wise placed a pair of shots on frame. Senior goalkeeper Jeny Wolbert made two saves to record her sixth shutout of the season. As a team, Akron has now kept seven clean sheets in 13 matches this season.
After battling for 80 minutes of scoreless soccer, Akron found the breakthrough goal in the 81st minute. Kelly DeNiro played a ball over the top of the Bowling Green backline and Wise found herself in a footrace with Falcons’ keeper Becca Ison. The speedy striker was first to the ball and tipped a one-touch shot over the top of a sprawling Ison and into the back of the net. It was the first goal of the season for Wise and DeNiro’s second assist.
Akron had the best of the opportunities in a scoreless first half. Wise looked to have her first tally of the season twice in the early stages after being played in on goal twice in the first five minutes. Ison charged out to deflect her first run and Wise’s shot was right into the mitts of Ison a few moments later.
The Zips first corner at the 24th minute also nearly produced the opening score. DeNiro’s service found the head of a charging Jordan Clark, but the senior’s header skimmed by the far post.
Phillip then missed a grade-A chance in the 33rd minutes. Kyarah Foushee found Phillip in space 12 yards out from goal after making a run down the right side. Phillip faked a shot to let a BGSU defender fly by and then ripped a shot that flew just outside of the left post.
Akron takes on Miami on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. The Zips will honor women’s soccer alumni prior to the match.
Zips Notebook: The previous attendance record was set against Illinois State in the first game at the renovated FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field (then named Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field) on Aug. 20, 2010. Katie Wise also scored the game-winner in that match … Wise now has eight career goals, with five of them being game-winners … Rachel Phillip surpassed the 100 shot mark for her career in the match … The match was also Kick for a Cure Night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. Over $1,000 dollars was raised for breast cancer research and awareness.