Regardless of where University of Akron senior Aodhan Quinn plays, his priority every men’s soccer match is to help create the offense that manufactures a win.
Quinn is content to alternate between forward and attacking midfielder.
“I just try to get on the ball, and try to keep the rhythm going forward,” Quinn said. “I try to get assists and goals to contribute to the team.”
Quinn’s first chance to contribute in a 2013 regular-season match is at 7 tonight when UA opens against host College of Charleston in the Nike/Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic.
The Zips were 1-1 in exhibitions. UA scored a 4-1 win over visiting Marshall on Aug. 20 and lost 2-0 to host St. Louis on Aug. 24.
“I am pretty confident going into the season because in both exhibition games we played well,” Quinn said. “Against St. Louis, we just didn’t finish our chances, but other than that, I think we had the better of the play. We are excited for what is coming this weekend and we are hoping to get two wins.”
UA will face Furman at noon Sunday, also in the Nike/Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic.
“With Marshall, we were pleased with the result, 4-1,” UA coach Jared Embick said. “With Saint Louis, we were a little more disappointed with the result, but I think in that game we created a lot of chances and we had a lot of possession. … Those are things that are crucial to our style.
“We feel pretty confident about this weekend and what we can accomplish. It will allow us to spend some time on things that we can improve on, limiting goals and obviously putting goals away.”
The Zips also return senior forward Reinaldo Brenes, the team’s top goal scorer last year with 11.
Seniors Eric Stevenson and Zac Portillos appear poised to have breakout seasons as attackers at forward, and in the midfield with Quinn, sophomore Matt Foldesy and freshmen Victor Souto, Adam Najem and Brett Gravatt the Zips are strong. Embick said Najem and Souto have been impressive in training and in exhibitions.
“They are the furthest along in playing right now,” Embick said in regards to the freshman class. “A lot of the other guys are adjusting a little bit and coming along. Some guys just need to get comfortable in the environment before they start playing to their potential. I think you will see more and more added to the mix as we go.”
Juniors Bryan Gallego and Saad Abdul-Salaam will figure prominently with the Zips’ defensive unit along with senior Robbie Derschang, sophomore Andrew Souders and freshman Louis Cross. Redshirt freshman Fernando Pina is primed to make an impact as the goalkeeper.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.