Akron-Indiana -- a first-round matchup of national champions from two of the last three seasons -- lived up to its billing as the Zips raced
out to a 3-0 lead after 48 minutes, then held off a furious Hoosier charge for a 3-2 win in the first round of the NCAA Men's Tournament. The result condemned IU to its first losing season in the
history of the program that started in 1973.
Costa Rican Reinaldo Brenes
, one of only two players from Akron's 2010 championship still with the
team, led the Zips' attack with a pair of goals, while Aodhan Quinn
, MAC Player of the Year, added goal and an assist. He has now scored a goal in each of his
last three matches.
Goalkeeper Jake Fenlason
, who made his collegiate debut in last weekend's Mid-American Conference Tournament, had seven saves
– including three of the spectacular variety.
Freshman Adam Najem
, a product of the New York Red Bulls academy, fed Brenes for the first goal
in the seventh minute with a long ball. Quinn scored on a loose ball in the 24th minute, then fed Brenes for the third goal shortly after the start of the second half to make it 3-0.
IU came back with a pair of goals a minute apart, the first by Dylan Lax
off a Patrick Doody
corner kick in the 52th
minute, the second from Jacob Bushue
in the 53rd minute on a rebound after another Doody corner was headed off the crossbar by freshman Tommy Thompson
(son of former IU star and U.S. international Gregg Thompson
The Hoosiers finish the season at
8-12-2, the first losing season in the history of the program that started in 1973.
“It’s really hard right now to see the faces of the seniors,” said IU coach
. “But when it comes to what we asked them to do, the pride and the level of play we put out there, we left it all on the field. I think the
loser tonight was college soccer as I don’t think these two teams should have met at this point. Akron is an excellent soccer team and that was a high-end college soccer game.”