College Men: Akron ends Stanford's reign as national champion with 3-2 win

Stanford's bid for a fourth straight NCAA Division I men's title ended when it lost to Akron, 3-2, Friday night in the quarterfinals at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.

The defeat left Bruce Arena's Virginia team of 1991-94 as the only team to win four NCAA Division I men's championships in a row. The Cavs featured Claudio Reyna, who played on the first three teams before turning pro after his junior season following the 1994 World Cup.

Stanford fell behind on a pair of first-half golazos scored by Canadian Marcel Zajac -- the first goals it allowed in the NCAA Tournament in more than 1,429 minutes since since Dec. 5, 2015.
But the Cardinal rallied, getting goals from Tanner Beason from the penalty spot in the 57th minute and Zach Ryan with his team-leading 10th goal 11 minutes later.

“In the first half, we were just waiting for the game instead of taking the game,” said Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn. “I just really wanted to encourage the players to go after the game and see what happens. In the first half, we waited and we got punished. In the second half, we were assertive, played some fantastic soccer, bossed the game and thoroughly deserved to get back into it.”

But Akron didn't quit, pulling ahead in the 81st minute when Zajac headed Marco Micaletto's cross back to freshman Colin Biros, who headed it in for the winner on a play that featured 34 passes by the Zips.

The victory sends the Zips to the Men's College Cup for the second year in a row and sixth time overall. They will play the winner of Saturday's Michigan State-James Madison match in the quarterfinals.

Nov. 30 in Stanford, Calif.
Stanford 2 Akron 3. Goals: Zajac 15, Zajac (Milanese, Kahsay) 44, Biros (Micaletto, Zajac) 81; Beason pen. 57, Ryan (Gilbey, Mosharrafa) 68.
Stanford -- Thomas, Beason, Mosharrafa, Ludwick, Aprahamian Waldeck, Gilbey, Wehan, Panchot, Bashti, Ryan. Subs: Bulut, O'Brien, Liberty, Joshua.
Akron -- Lundt, Ritaccio, Milanese, Strachan, Mohamed, Harter, Hackworth, Biros, Tojaga, Egbo, Zajac. Subs: Hernandez, Kahsay, Micaletto, Watters.
Att.: 1,405.
1 comment about "College Men: Akron ends Stanford's reign as national champion with 3-2 win".
  1. schultz rockne, December 1, 2018 at 1:44 p.m.

    Viva los Zips! Very impressive turnaround for the NE Ohio school.
    Once again, poor viewing options forced many fans into relying on updates, rather than watching one of the best matches (and one of the more watchable teams--Akron) of this tournament: last week I'm able to watch UAkron on Disney 3 and Stanford on the P-12 website...and now for a friggin quarterfinal only available on an elusive sports channel. Poor. NCAA, Disney, et al: helping college soccer retain its seventh division status!

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