Low scoring, defensive battles have become a common theme so far this season during University of Akron men’s soccer games at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Defense was again at a premium Tuesday night as No. 14 Akron and Virginia Commonwealth battled to a 0-0 tie in double overtime.
The Zips have yet to be scored on at home this year as the defense was relentless on most of VCU’s offensive possessions. The Rams managed just three shots on goal, which were all taken by Jorge Herranz. The Zips have outscored their opponents 7-0 at home this season.
“The defense did a great job of staying focused,” UA coach Jared Embick said. “They didn’t give up many chances and kept us in the game for 110 minutes to find us a goal and we couldn’t get it done.”
UA (5-3-1) was led by sophomore goalkeeper Ben Lundt who uses his size to his advantage. The 6-foot-7 goalie from Berlin, Germany, is able to jump over everyone in a crowded box and grab the ball in midair. He also makes quick decisions and finds an open man for the next offensive possession.
Lundt finished with three saves and has played 470 minutes without allowing a goal.
The Zips, who still haven’t lost a game at home since Wake Forest beat them last year on Sept. 22, outshot the Rams 22-11 and had a 10-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Both team showed some fatigue in the second overtime, as each team had its best look at a goal in the entire game.
VCU’s Rafael Santos hit the top cross bar, the ball then bounced straight down and kicked away from the goal with 2:31 left in that second overtime.
On UA’s next possession, Stuart Holthusen, who was playing in his first game back from injury, had a open look with less then two minutes left but his kick sailed just past the goal for the game’s last good look at a goal.
“There were obviously chances to win the game but we’re also very fortunate not to lose the game there in overtime,” Embick said.