[MEN'S COLLEGE CUP] Scott Caldwell's goal in the 79th minute gave Akron a 1-0 win over previously unbeaten Louisville
for its first national title.
The Zips, who had finished second in 1986 and 2009, survived a wild finish during which goalie Scott Meves and defender Chad Barson were called up to make desperation saves.
Akron and Louisville put on an exciting second half. The Zips' pressure finally paid off when Caldwell blasted a shot over goalie Andre Boudreaux and under the crossbar after his first attempt was blocked following a failed clearance of an Akron corner kick.
Louisville, which had the best chance of the first half when Charlie Campbell had his header deflected by Chris Korb and ricochet off the post in the 8th minute, surged forward for one final charge in the last 90 seconds during which there was only one way to describe Akron's response: panic.
The best chance came to Aaron Horton, hero of the last two Cardinal wins with last-minute goals. Open in front of the net with Akron keeper Scott Meves out of the way, Horton hit a shot that Barson cleared away with a desperate lunge.
Akron finished the game with 19-15 shot advantage and a 9-4 corner kick advantage.
Dec. 12 in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Akron 1 Louisville 0. Goals: Caldwell (unassisted) 79.
Akron -- Meves, Sarkodie, Barson, Korb, Valentin, Kitchen, Nanchoff, Ampaipitakwong, Caldwell, Mattocks, Nagbe. Subs: Speas.
Louisville -- Boudreaux, Rodgers, Granger, Murray, Berry, Campbell, DelPiccolo, Farrell, DeLeon, Mares, Rolfe. Subs: Smith, Tufty, Horton, Lipka, Walker.
Referee: Chico Grajeda.