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Zips men's soccer ranked No. 1 in coaches poll

By Michael Beaven Published: September 9, 2009

The University of Akron men's soccer team earned the No. 1 ranking Tuesday in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas poll.
Coach Caleb Porter led the Zips (2-0-0) to 1-0 shutout victories over Southern Methodist and No. 14 Tulsa at the Radisson Tulsa Airport Classic last weekend to open the season.
"It's the opinion of the top coaches across the country," Porter said. "It's meaningful because it doesn't happen very often to this university. It means a lot to the community, the players, the coaches and the fans of the team.
"It's an honor and it's great we have earned the respect of the coaches. With that being said, it doesn't change our mindset and it doesn't affect our belief structure. We want to be No. 1 at the end. Our vision is to be national champions."
Zips junior midfielders Blair Gavin and Anthony Ampaipitakwong each scored a goal last weekend. Freshman goalkeeper David Meves keyed a defense that includes freshmen Zarek Valentin and Chad Barson, junior Chris Korb and sophomore Kofi Sarkodie.
Meves has played all 180 minutes in the first two games and posted two shutouts. Valentin, Barson, Korb and Sarkodie have also played all 180 minutes in each game. 
UA is also ranked No. 1 in the Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer polls, but the NSCAA/adidas poll is considered the most prestigious.
Zips senior midfielder Ben Zemanski and sophomore forwards Teal Bunbury and Darlington Nagbe have also started in both games. Zemanski and Gavin have both played in all 180 minutes.
UA is the first and only team in Mid-American Conference history to garner a No. 1 ranking in any sport after also accomplishing the feat during the 2005 season.
The Zips received 11 of the 21 first-place votes in the NSCAA/adidas poll. The schools ranked No. 2 to No. 10 are: Wake Forest, North Carolina, St. John's, Creighton, UC Santa Barbara, Maryland, South Florida, UC Irvine and Notre Dame.
UA next plays at the adidas Bearcat Classic at the University of Cincinnati, with games against High Point at 5 p.m. Friday and Cincinnati at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

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