Akron is back in the national picture and looks to knock off No. 1 Wake Forest when the experience-laden Zips travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., Friday for the Wake Forest University Tournament.
The Zips were ranked No. 1 in the final Soccer America Top 25 of the 2005 regular season when they fell to eventual champion Maryland on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division
I Tournament, but they didn't make the 2006 tournament despite going 13-5-1 under first-year coach Caleb Porter
Akron opened with a 2-0 win over
ranked New Mexico and a 1-0 victory over tough UAB to move into the Soccer America Top 25 this week at No. 16.
Against New Mexico, Porter started six seniors and three juniors, including
goalie Evan Bush
and midfielder Matt Tutich
, standouts on the 2005 team that was 18-1-4.
It was a pair of
freshman starters who were standouts at the Westfield Insurance Cup.
Leading the Zips last weekend was former U.S. U-17 resident Anthony
, the tournament Offensive MVP.
Englishman Steve Zakuani
scored the only goal against UAB, redirecting a shot by another
freshman, Michael Nanchoff
(son of former Zip and U.S. international George Nanchoff
), for his first collegiate
"Our first two matches were good gauges as to where we were as a team," said Porter. "This weekend will be another great test for us. I have great respect for Wake Forest and
it will be a raucous crowd. However, we played very well last weekend, had a great week of workouts and feel we are prepared mentally and physically. This will be an exciting weekend on many