University of Akron soccer coach Caleb Porter admitted his top-ranked Zips were not at their best Wednesday night as No. 19 Ohio State rallied for a 2-2 tie in front of a record crowd of 7,255 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The Zips (6-0-1) saw their NCAA record-tying streak of 11 consecutive games without allowing a goal snapped. That string, which matched Furman (2002) and Virginia (2009), began on Nov. 15, 2009.
Ohio State's David Tiemstra forced overtime with a goal with two seconds remaining in regulation. OSU (5-2-2) became the first team to score two goals against Akron since Hartwick College on Nov. 7, 2009 (a 3-2 Akron victory).
"There is no other feeling like it I could describe or like anything I have ever felt in my life," Tiemstra said. "It's just unbelievable."
Porter said maybe the outcome was needed for the Zips, who went to the College Cup final in 2009 and are gunning for a national championship this season.
"In some ways, when you haven't tasted anything but wins, when things have maybe come easy, you feel like you are invincible," Porter said. "Certainly in this sport, no one is invincible. Maybe we needed to feel a little bit vulnerable because we were vulnerable today. In the long run, this is going to help us."
OSU coach John Bluem was thrilled with the crowd, which included an Akron contingent.
''You could look up from the bench and obviously see that most of the stands were filled, but I had no idea how many it was," Bluem said. "Salute to the great fans from Akron who came out for the game tonight and a super thank you to our fans and local supporters of soccer who hopefully enjoyed what they saw and come back."
Neither team scored in the two extra periods, despite several chances on both sides.
The scoreless streak of 1,140 minutes fell when sophomore midfielder Austin McAnena struck a shot past Akron goalie David Meves in the 30th minute of the first period. Akron's Michael Nanchoff countered with a penalty shot six minutes later.
Freshman Darren Mattocks scored his team-leading fourth goal of 2010 in the 68th minute to give Akron the lead..
Akron was a man up on Tiemstra's game-tying goal after OSU's Konrad Warzycha drew a red card in the 52nd minute. The score came on a scrum in front of the net.
Akron's Darlington Nagbe also had a goal negated by an offsides call.
Hoping for a sharper performance, the Zips host Florida Atlantic at Lee Jackson Field Friday at 5:30 p.m.