Though there was no confirmation, it’s safe to say Michigan State’s soccer team left Akron on Wednesday night tired of hearing the Black Keys song Lonely Boy.

The Akron rock duo’s tune blared over the loudspeakers four times, after each University of Akron goal, before a crowd of 2,454 at FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field.

Zips senior Nate Shultz scored his first two goals of the season, and sophomore Nick Hinds and freshman Joao Moutinho contributed one each as UA beat Michigan State 4-1.

The victory comes after the Zips topped visiting Massachusetts Lowell 5-0 on Sunday.

“After the St. Louis game and a tough [0-0] draw [at their place on Sept. 16], we just decided to refocus and really put the work in in training,” Shultz said. “I think that has made the difference. Every day, we have been grinding as hard as we can.”

The score was a tad surprising, considering that Michigan State (7-1-1) had allowed just one goal in its first eight matches this season. The Spartans also came to Akron ranked in all four national polls — No. 1 according to Top Drawer Soccer, fourth in the coaches poll, fifth in the College Soccer News poll and 11th in Soccer America’s rankings.

UA (4-2-1) entered Wednesday less heralded, ranked No. 24 by Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America, but looked like the superior side.

“I want to thank the students, the fans and the community,” UA coach Jared Embick said. “Tremendous support. They got behind us tonight and you could see it in our players’ eyes — it meant a lot to them. That really spearheaded us to a phenomenal performance.

“I think we dominated the match. We did everything we talked about doing and we have to build from that. As a coach, you are happy, but we have a game on Saturday [at home at 7 p.m. against St. Mary’s] that we have to rebound mentally for.”

Lonely Boy, one of the hit songs of Firestone graduates Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach, made its first appearance Wednesday when Shultz’s first goal came in the 16th minute from just outside the 6-yard box. Sophomore Nick Hinds assisted on the goal.

Shultz, a Mayfield graduate who entered Wednesday with one goal in his UA career, struck again in the 45th minute from close range and again the music blared. Senior Stuart Holthusen started the play with a pass to sophomore Skye Harter of Copley, who then moved the ball to Shultz.

The Zips took the 2-0 lead into halftime and extended the advantage in the second half. Hinds scored an unassisted goal in the 71st minute and Moutinho’s goal came in the 85th minute following passes by freshman David Egbo and senior Niko De Vera, and the scores were music to the Zips’ ears.

In between the Hinds and Moutinho goals, Michigan State senior Ryan Scott scored a goal in the 81st minute after a pass from junior Hunter Barone.

UA finished with an edge in shots (14-6), shots on goal (7-3) and corner kicks (7-1).

Zips junior goalkeeper Ben Lundt made two saves. Freshman Daniel Strachan also played solid as a starter along with seniors Manuel Cordeiro, Pau Belana and Sam Gainford and junior Shane Wiedt, an Archbishop Hoban graduate.

“I thought in the first half our energy and our pressure really caused them problems,” Embick said. “They made some good adjustments in the second half and we had to get reorganized halfway through, but you could just tell when you want to win and when you want to compete you find a way to make plays. Collectively, we had a great effort.”

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the #ABJVarsity high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.