Men's Soccer: WVU Faces No. 3 Akron

  • By Grant Dovey
  • |
  • November 20, 2010 04:09 PM
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AKRON, Ohio – The West Virginia men’s soccer team will travel to No. 3 Akron for a second round game in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 20, at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field. Game time is schedule for 4 p.m.

West Virginia defeated Xavier, 4-2, on Thursday evening to advance to the second round of the tournament. The Mountaineers currently have an 11-7-2 record.

Akron comes into the match with an 18-1-1 record and has only lost one game in the past two years. Akron holds the No. 3 seed and had a first-round bye. The Zips last defeated Western Michigan in the MAC Championship.

“We’re very respectful of Akron and their program. They have great players, great coaches and a great facility here,” coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “We’re going to do our best to try and stay with them as they are a very good possession orientated team who score a lot of goals.”

The Zips will also look to avenge on last year’s runner-up finish in the NCAA Championship game. Akron and Virginia played to a draw, but Virginia was able to edge Akron in penalty kicks to take the national title.

Caleb Porter is in his fifth year at the helm of Akron and has a record of 86-13-9. The game will mark the 25th time the Zips have qualified for the NCAA Tournament and will be making its fourth-straight appearance.

The Zips have out-scored their opponents 53-9 this season, while also out-shooting opponents, 149-58.

Offensively, Akron is led by Darren Mattocks (15 goals, 3 assists), Michael Nanchoff (8 goals, 8 assists) and Darlington Nagbe (7 goals, 10 assists). Overall, the Zips have five players with 14 or more points.

The stout defensive corps of Chris Korb, Zarek Valentin, Kofi Sarkodie and Michael Balogun has only allowed nine goals this season and hold opponents to a miniscule .068 shot percentage, while recording 13 shutouts.

David Meves has started all 20 games in goal and has a 0.46 goals-against average. Meves has made 42 saves and has 10 shutouts.

“Our goal tomorrow is going to be to sit nice and compact and try to handle the number of players that they are going to throw forward,” LeBlanc said.

The Mountaineers are paced offensively by junior Franck Tayou (9 goals, 1 assist) and sophomore Shadow Sebele (4 goals, 11 assists). Sophomores Peabo Doue and Eric Schoenle each have five goals as well.

Defensively, the team has been led all season by junior Raymon Gaddis, junior Uzi Tayou and Schoenle. Senior Dan Hagey has also performed admirably after missing extensive time due to injury. The group has given up 21 goals and only allow 9.5 shots per game.

Senior Zach Johnson continues to be impressive in goal for the Mountaineers. Johnson has a 1.01 goals-against average and has recorded five shutouts, while making 56 saves.

West Virginia is one of six BIG EAST teams participating in the second round on Sunday.

The winner of Sunday's match moves on to face the Tulsa-Indiana victor. That match would take place on Dec. 3, 4 or 5.

Fans can watch the game online at GoZips.com and followed live in-game statistics and play-by-play online through GameTracker on MSNsportsNET.com.

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