Published: November 16, 2009
AKRON, OH – Akron came from behind to defeat Hartwick
for the second time in eight days on Sunday at Lee Jackson Field in Akron, OH in the Mid-American Conference Championship match. The 2-1 victory gives the Zips their third straight conference title and they head into the Men’s College Cup 20-0-0 and the almost certain top seed. The loss for the Hawks drops their overall record to 10-4-4 and likely ends their season.
The Hawks, who were making their first appearance in the MAC final in their three seasons in the league, jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the contest in the opening nine minutes of the game. An Akron defender slipped on the turf allowing leading scorer Dan Summers (Banstead, England) to break in alone with Zip goalkeeper David Meves. Summers won the battle beating Meves for his sixth tally of the season and second of the playoffs.
The Hawk advantage lasted for 9:48 until Teal Bunbury headed in the game-tying goal in the 19th minute. Michael Nachoff sent a free kick into the area from the right side 45 yards from goal. Bunbury connected with the ball heading it up and over Jeremy Vuolo (Downingtown, PA) to the far post and in. The tally was Bunbury’s 16th of the season.
The first half would end with Akron holding an 11-3 edge in shots. Vuolo would make six saves in the half as he kept the Hawks level with several diving saves.
Early in the second half, Vuolo would rob Bunbury on two point-blank shots right in a row. The Zips would take four more shots in the next 25 minutes of action with none reaching the target. Hartwick substitution Carson Pryde (Calgary, ALB) would force a save from Meves and Brian Gordon (Erskine, Scotland) put a header wide for the Hawks in the span.
The Zips took the lead for good in the 77th minute as Darlington Nagbe broke into the box and beat Vuolo to his near-side from six yards away. It was Nagbe’s 10th goal of the year. Anthony Ampaipitakwong picked up the assist.
The Hawks’ Jakob Karlgren (Gothenburg, Sweden) put a shot wide with eight and a half minutes to play which would turn out to be ’Wick’s last chance. A pair of fouls in the last five minutes produced Hartwick red cards which put an end to any hopes of a comeback down to nine men.
Vuolo would finish the day with a season-high eight stops. Meves made five for the Zips, who ended the match with a 20-6 advantage in shots. Forward Jumol Harewood (Brooklyn, NY), and midfielders Steven Amaya (Oakland Gardens, NY) and Michael Cunningham (Dunedin, New Zealand) were selected to the MAC All-Tournament Team for their efforts over the weekend.
Should the Hawks not receive an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament tomorrow evening, tonight’s match was the final one in the careers of seniors Gordon, Sam Wright (Nequay, England), and Nick Pratico (Philadelphia, PA).
The 10 victories for Hartwick this season is the most for the program since 2005. The Hawks gave up 16 goals in 18 matches which is the least given up by a Hartwick side since the 2003 campaign.