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Akron aims to make history
by Paul Kennedy, November 16th, 2009 8:45AM



Akron will look to accomplish what no team has done in 35 years and win a national championship with a perfect record. The No. 1 Zips improved to 20-0-0 with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Hartwick, which finished with nine players in Sunday's Mid-American final.

If Akron sweeps the NCAA Tournament, it will become the first team to finish unbeaten and untied with 25 wins. Navy holds the record for the longest winning streak at 25 games over two seasons, and San Francisco holds the record for most wins in a season when it went 25-1-0, losing to Hartwick in the 1977 championship game. (The Dons went 28-1-0 in 1978 but had their title vacated.)

In 1974, Howard won its second national championship with a 19-0-0 record, the best record of the six champions that finished with perfect records.

1961 West Chester (12-0-0)
1964 Navy (15-0-0)
1965 Saint Louis (14-0-0)
1969 Saint Louis (13-0-0)
1971 Howard (15-0-0)
1974 Howard (19-0-0)

Sophomore Darlington Nagbe's second game-winner in as many contests lifted the Zips past Hartwick. He scored on a give-and-go with Anthony Ampaipitakwong to give Akron is second come-from-behind win over Hartwick in a week.

Hartwick went ahead on Dan Summers' goal in the 10th minute, but sophomore Teal Bunbury, the 2009 MAC Player of the Year, pulled the Zips even in the 19th minute with a header off a well-struck free kick from Michael Nanchoff.

Akron dominated possession with a 20-6 advantage in shots. Hartwick had Nick Roydhouse and Micha Cunningham sent off in the last five minutes with straight red cards.

"It was unfortunate to give up the early goal but I thought we responded well," said Akron coach Caleb Porter. "This is three games in a row now where we've had some adversity but we continue to respond. We'll draw on that and take it with us as we make a run in the NCAA Tournament."

WATCH PARTY: Akron will host an official Watch Party at the Barley House, located on 222 S. Main Street. The Zips are expected to be the No. 1 seed when the NCAA announces its soccer championship selections on ESPNews on Monday between 5:30 and 6 p.m. (ET).

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