The live stream on the University of Akron website was not working properly in the opening moments of the Zips men’s soccer match Thursday with Indiana University.
A crowd of 1,919 gathered at FirstEnergy Stadium to watch the NCAA Tournament first-round game in person, and thousands more listened on the radio locally on WARF (1350-AM).
Former UA coach and IU graduate Caleb Porter could not make it back to campus and wanted to watch online. Fortunately for him, the live stream started working just in time for the action to pick up and five goals were scored.
Senior Reinaldo Brenes scored two goals and senior Aodhan Quinn netted one goal to lead the Zips to a 3-2 victory. UA (17-3-1) will face host and No. 9 seed Marquette (12-5-2) in the second round at 6 p.m. Sunday in Milwaukee.
UA played the role of aggressor for the opening 48 minutes Thursday and led 3-0, but IU (8-12-2) roared back to make things interesting with two second-half goals and five other shots on goal that Zips sophomore goalkeeper Jake Fenlason saved.
“Well that was exciting,” UA coach Jared Embick said. “We had to stay true to form and make every game a little bit of a tough game. I thought when we were able to play out of the back and play cleanly, we were able to create good chances and we capitalized on that.
“I thought we got rattled a little bit by their pressure and we gave up some chances and we allowed them back into the game with a couple of restarts. It made for a tough finish there, but we got through it.”
Indiana, which returned eight starters from its national-title team from a year ago, held an edge in shots (23-17), shots on goal (9-7) and corner kicks (8-7).
“One of the toughest things is your first game of the tournament,” Embick said. “The other tough thing is to have to knock off the defending champs. Those teams never go down easy. We had to do both in one game and we did.”
UA took a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute on Brenes’ first goal following a pass from freshman Adam Najem. Quinn’s goal made it 2-0 in the 24th minute.
Hoosiers freshman Tommy Thompson and junior Dylan Lax each had a shot on goal in the first half that Fenlason saved.
Brenes’ second goal came off a pass from Quinn and upped the Zips’ lead to 3-0 in the 48th minute.
Indiana responded quickly with shots on goal by sophomore Femi Hollinger-Janzen and Thompson that Fenlason stopped. The Hoosiers finally broke through in the 51st minute and 52nd minute with goals by Lax and senior Jacob Bushue. Junior Patrick Doody assisted on Lax’s goal and Thompson assisted Bushue’s goal.
“I feel like our young team in the first game of the tournament got rattled a little bit, but it shows Indiana’s belief and how they attacked us,” Brenes said. “This is a good experience for the guys in the back and now we have to tighten that up and go to Marquette to give a good performance.”
Indiana continued to put pressure on Fenlason, who finished with seven saves.
“It is my job to make saves,” Fenlason said. “That is what I have to do. Usually it is just one or two. Today was a little bit more.”
Indiana freshman goalkeeper Colin Webb finished with three saves.
“One team will be ultimately smiling at the end of the season,” Indiana coach Todd Yeagley said. “This group got to experience that last year. I think the loser tonight was college soccer because these teams, I don’t think should have met at this point.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.