The atmosphere and intensity at Lee Jackson Field on Friday night was very fun and very exciting to experience in person.
The match between No. 1 University of Akron and No. 8 Indiana attracted a record crowd for a men’s soccer match at UA and the sounds of chanting, horns and drums were quite loud.
Zips redshirt sophomore Michael Nanchoff scored a goal off of a free kick with 12:56 remaining in the second half to guide the host Zips to a 1-0 victory over the Hoosiers in front of a sellout crowd of 2,443.
Nanchoff kicked the ball with his left foot from 23 yards away around a wall of Indiana players and past Hoosiers redshirt freshman Luis Soffner into the bottom right of the net.
UA was the aggressor for most of the match, especially in the second half. The Zips held an advantage in shots (10-7), shots on goal (5-2) and corner kicks (5-4).
Sophomore Teal Bunbury led the Zips offense with four shots, and junior Blair Gavin and Nanchoff had two shots apiece.
Bunbury and junior Anthony Ampaipitakwong each had shots on goal that required Soffner to make diving stops.
Ampaipitakwong’s shot came with 1:22 left in the first half and Soffner made the save by diving to his left and catching the ball with both hands. Bunbury’s shot came with the 41:40 left in the second half and Soffner made the save by diving to his right and slapping the ball away.
Zips freshman goalkeeper David Meves recorded his fourth shutout of the season with the assistance of starting defenders junior Chris Korb, sophomore Kofi Sarkodie and freshmen Zarek Valentin and Chad Barson.
For more on the game, check out my story in today’s Akron Beacon Journal sports section or on ohio.com.
Here are some of the best quotes from last night:
UA fourth-year coach Caleb Porter won why he chose Nanchoff to take the free kick: “When we got that free kick, I knew he was going to take it because on that side of the goal the angle would be good for him.”
Porter regarding his happiness with the Zips focus: “We really focused on what's important, and that is performing well for 90 minutes. I thought we controlled the game and deserved to win. I was proud of the fact that we were the aggressor at the end of the game.”
Nanchoff regarding the crowd: “It was absolutely phenomenal. It was like a European atmosphere. It was beautiful with the horns and the AK-Rowdies.”
Nanchoff on the free kick that resulted in a goal: “I had a really good feeling about it. Our coach always talks about winning the moment. Our coach always talks about being patient. We really like to possess the ball and I thought we did a real good job with that. Eventually, with patience, the goal will come.”
Sarkodie on the fan support: “I thank the fans for coming out. They really gave us that extra 12th man on the field. It was great to have them.”