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Akron finds some answers
by Paul Kennedy, September 7th, 2009 8:16AM



MEN'S NEWS ... Heading into the 2009 season, Akron had several question marks. Who would replace Hermann Trophy winner Steve Zakuani, who left after his sophomore season and signed with MLS's Seattle Sounders FC? And who would replace four-year starter Evan Bush in goal?

After the opening weekend of play, it looked like the Zips have found a replacement for Bush but finding a goalscorer to replace Zakuani will be a bit harder.

Freshman goalkeeper David Meves earned a pair of shutouts as Akron beat SMU and Tulsa by 1-0 scores to sweep the to the Radisson Tulsa Airport Classic and move into the top spot in the Soccer America Men's Top 25.

For the time being, Akron will get its goals by committee. The Zips hit the post twice against SMU and needed a penalty kick from Blair Gavin to win on Friday. Another midfielder, Anthony Ampaipitakwong, had the goal against Tulsa.

* It was not a great week for the three ACC teams ranked in the Preseason Top 25. North Carolina had to settle for a 1-1 tie with Northern Illinois and fell to No. 2 behind Akron in this week's rankings. Defending national champion Maryland lost to UCLA, 2-0, in its opener, while 2007 champion Wake Forest managed only four goals (one an own goal) in three games and went 2-0-1. But before you write off the ACC ...

-- Virginia put a horrible preseason behind it and beat Portland, 3-0, and Washington, 2-1, at the Portland Nike Invitational. Sophomore Tony Tchani, back after missing the last part of the 2008 season with a knee injury, set the tone with two goals in the first 15 minutes in the opener against Portland.

-- Duke and N.C. State both won two games at the Duke/Nike Classic to move to 3-0-0. Denver, the defending MPSF champion, arrived in Durham with a No. 25 ranking, but N.C. State blew the Pioneers away, 4-0, and Duke won, 2-0, two days later.

Sunday, Sept. 6
No. 22 Tulsa 0 No. 2 Akron 1 (Ampaipitakwong 10)
No. 3 St. John's 2 (Wegge Gundhus 68, Becerra 90) No. 10 Notre Dame 0.
No. 4 Indiana 1 (Alexander 52) No. 5 Wake Forest 2 (own goal 13, Randolph 72)
No. 8 Maryland 2 (Herrick 5, 96) No. 7 California 1 (Salciccia 78) (OT).

Saturday, Sept. 5
No. 6 Creighton 1
(Sinovic 81) No. 20 Cal Poly 0.
No. 13 Connecticut 0 No. 24 Boston Univ. 3 (Berube 30, O'Neal 86, 90)

Friday, Sept. 4
No. 4 Indiana 0 No. 3 St. John's 0.
No. 5 Wake Forest 1 (Norman 13) No. 10 Notre Dame 1 (Thomas pen. 77).
No. 8 Maryland 0 No. 9 UCLA 2 (Alvarado 77, Hollingshead 83).

This weekend's Top 25 results and goal scorers

-- Maryland drew a record crowd of 6,718 fans at Ludwig Field on Friday night for its game against UCLA. The game had a festive atmosphere. Students wore commemorative red and black scarves to celebrate last year's NCAA title, and the Terrapin players raced through the goal Coach Sasho Cirovski paid $10,000 and shipped from Pizza Hut Park, where they beat North Carolina in the '08 final. The Terps have the goal from their 2005 national championship in another corner of the field.

-- In a game that started Friday night and ended early Saturday morning, Bradley drew a record crowd of 2,612 for its 1-1 tie with Memphis on Fox Soccer Channel. The Busey Bank Kickoff Festival included a promotion that allowed Peoria fans to pick up a coupon for one free ticket at 19 locations.

-- Other big men's crowds included 3,920 for the first day of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic, 3,495 for Boston University's 3-0 win at Connecticut and 2,938 for UC Santa Barbara's 2-0 win at West Virginia.

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