Ten home games highlight the 2012 University of Akron men’s soccer fall schedule, coach Caleb Porter announced Wednesday.
“This is perhaps the most difficult schedule we have ever put together and it’s exactly what we need to continue competing for national championships,” said Porter, entering his seventh season as coach of the Zips.
“Last year, our strength of schedule and RPI hurt us when it came to seeding in the NCAA Tournament, so we felt it was important to step things up, especially with a mature team returning.”
The schedule features visits from NCAA Tournament-qualifiers South Florida and St. John’s, a grudge match against Michigan and the first Mid-American Conference contest against West Virginia.
In all, the Zips, who return eight out of 11 starters this fall, will face seven opponents who qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago, including an early season road match at College Cup-participant Creighton.
Information about 2012 UA season tickets, including details about additional reserved seating at FirstEnergy Stadium — Cub Cadet Field, will be announced today on GoZips.com.
Following two preseason games against Saint Louis (Aug. 15) and Wright State (Aug. 17) at home, the 2012 season officially gets under way on Aug. 24 when Atlantic Sun Conference-champion Florida Gulf Coast comes to town for the first meeting between the two schools.
It will be the second consecutive season the Zips have opened the year at home after spending the previous three openers on the road.
The 2012 MAC Tournament will be hosted by the league’s regular-season champion from Nov. 9-11 while the NCAA College Cup, which will take place from Dec. 7-9, will be hosted at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., for the second consecutive year.
Casey Roche hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 win over the University of Akron on Wednesday at Cost Field in Pittsburgh.
UA reliever Dan Becks (0-1) gave up Roche’s home run to left. Beck suffered his first loss of the season after pitching three innings, allowing two hits and one run.
Freshman Matt Rembielak led UA at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Sophomore Darius Washington also had two hits, and Devan Ahart had a sacrifice fly.
Akron (14-23) got a good start from sophomore Myles McVeigh, who was pitching for the first time since early March. McVeigh allowed one unearned run in five innings, giving up five hits and striking out two.
Akron takes on Western Michigan in a three-game Mid-American Conference series in Kalamazoo with the series opener Friday.
Entering the final week of the regular season, the University of Akron tennis team is listed No. 75 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.
The Zips are appearing in the poll for the first time since March 13, when they were ranked No. 71.
Akron, the defending Mid-American Conference Tournament champion, travels to Northern Illinois on Saturday for its final league match of the season and will have a nonconference match at Illinois-Chicago on Sunday.
The Zips (20-2, 6-1 MAC) have won six consecutive matches.
The conference tournament runs April 26-29 in DeKalb, Ill., with the winner earning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Mount Union senior Mary Snode was named Ohio Athletic Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week.
Snode, a Marlington graduate, was the medalist at both the Malone Invitational at the Legends and the Laura Bump Invitational at Mill Creek Golf Course last week.
Beacon Journal staff report