AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron men's soccer team turned in a dominating Mid-American Conference performance against league-leading SIU Edwardsville (8-4-2, 2-1-0 MAC) en route to notching a 3-0 triumph past the Cougars on Friday, Oct. 25, at FirstEnergy Stadium, on the strength of the Zips (4-8-2, 2-0-1 MAC) registering a pair of first-half goals, before adding a late tally to earn the win.
The victory snapped a seven-match unbeaten streak for SIU Edwardsville and coupled with a 3-2 win by Northern Illinois over Western Michigan propelled Akron atop the MAC standings with two league contests left on the Zips' schedule this season.
Sparked by a 12-8 advantage in second-half shots, Akron finished the match posting a 17-13 edge in shots, including a 6-2 margin in shots on goal.
Junior David Egbo (Enugu, Nigeria) directed the Zips' offensive performance with a game-high five shots, including two on frame, and finished the night with a goal and two assists. Adding three shots apiece for the Zips were freshmen Mani Austmann (Gardabaer, Iceland) and Will Jackson (Hudson, Ohio), along with senior Christian Lue Young (Plantation, Fla.). Jorge Gonzalez, the leading scorer in the MAC, registered a team-high five shots for the Cougars, but was held off the scoreboard by a stout defensive effort by Akron.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Tor Saunders (Seattle, Wash.) garnered the clean sheet for the Zips pulling in a pair of saves, while Noah Heim posted three stops for SIU Edwardsville.
Austmann gave the Zips a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute (3:29) connecting on a shot from outside the 18-yard box to the upper 90 off an assist from Egbo. The tally was the second of the season for Austmann and proved to be the game-winning tally, the first in his Akron career.
Jackson nearly extended the margin to 2-0 at the 18:20 mark as his 1v1 attempt in the box hit the near post to thwart the scoring opportunity.
Austmann delivered another laser in the box in the 19th minute (18:40) that was pulled in for a save by Heim.
Gonzalez struck a free kick from just outside the box at the 32:10 mark that went high of the net.
Egbo extended Akron's margin to 2-0 in the 37th minute (36:27) delivering a shot from 10 yards out that found the corner of the net courtesy of an assist from freshman Henrique Cruz (Fortaleza, Brazil). The goal marked Egbo's team-leading fifth tally of the season, while representing the second assist on the campaign for Cruz.
Gonzalez struck a laser in the box at the 41:40 mark that sailed wide.
Each side registered five shots in the opening stanza, with the Zips owning a 3-0 edge in shots on goal.
The Cougars posted the initial two shots of the second half before Lue Young placed a shot on goal inside the box in the 49th minute (48:12) that was headed off the line by Lachlan McLean for a team save. The follow-up shot at the 48:17 mark by sophomore Carlo Ritaccio (Westbury, N.Y.) was blocked to end the scoring chance for the Zips.
Egbo had his shot on goal in the 53rd minute (52:16) denied by a save from Heim, before Saunders pushed back a strike from Jake Meier at the 60:23 mark to preserve the shutout.
Gonzalez had a goal wiped off the scoreboard for the Cougars by an offsides call in the 64th minute (63:13), before getting off a shot at the 68:23 mark in the box that was thwarted by stellar save from Saunders. He later saw his 1v1 attempt in the box go wide of target in the 72nd minute (71:46), before striking the post with a shot at the 75:30 mark.
The Zips finished the contest registering a 6-2 edge in shots over the final 15 minutes capped by the third goal of the season in the 90th minute (89:22) from Jackson. Egbo and sophomore Pol Hernandez (Teia, Spain) split the defense to set-up the tally and earn the Akron duo a pair of assists.
The last scoring chance for the Cougars occurred in the 87th minute (86:16) as Jacob Bilyeu's shot struck the post.
Up next for Akron, the Zips travel to Cleveland for their final non-conference match of the regular season at Cleveland State on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The match begins at 7 p.m. at Krenzler Field.