Akron Holds Off Cougars
OMAHA, Neb. - Akron men's soccer scored twice in the first half and held on for a 2-1 win over SIUE at the Ameritas Classic.
SIUE would make a strong push in the second half against Akron, which is ranked No. 4 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com national poll and No. 7 in the NSCAA national poll. It was the first loss of the season for the Cougars, now 3-1. Akron improved to 2-0-1.
"It's always a positive to play teams like Akron this early in the season. It tests our resolve and exposes some areas that we can improve on as the year progresses," said SIUE Head Coach Kevin Kalish.
Christian Volesky gave SIUE hope of a comeback midway through the second half when he scored his second goal of the season at the 74:03 mark. Volesky split a pair of defenders and scored past Akron goalkeeper David Meves. Brett Lane was credited with an assist on the play.
Both of Akron's goals came off corner kicks. Chad Barson struck for his first goal of the season at 15:47 on a header from Scott Caldwell. Just as the game looked as if it was going to halftime with a 1-0 Akron lead, the Zips' Bryan Gallego headed the ball past SIUE goalkeeper John Berner with 54 seconds left in the half.
"It was extremely disappointing to give away two restart goals especially in the last minute of the first half. With that said, I feel our guys showed tremendous resilience to come out and win the second half and dictate the game for certain stretches," Kalish said.
SIUE was minus last year's Missouri Valley Conference Freshmen of the Year, Matt Polster who was held out because of an injury. Freshman Jacob Wieser picked up his first start of the season for the Cougars.
"It obviously hurt not having Matt for this match, but overall I was pleased with Jake's performance and the rest of the back four," Kalish said.
Akron outshot SIUE 14-4 with five shots from forward Thomas Schmitt. Kevin Stoll led the Cougars with two shots.
"Obviously, Akron has set the standard in college soccer over the last few years not only in results, but also their approach to how they play the game," Kalish said. "We can take away some positives from this match and begin to prepare for another tough test against Depaul on Friday."
SIUE next returns home to Korte Stadium. The Cougars face DePaul Friday at 6 p.m. and UMKC Sunday at 1 p.m.