Tulsa Travels to Akron for No. 1 vs. No. 2 Battle
Sept. 22, 2010
Tulsa, Oklahoma - In a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2, Tulsa's second-ranked men's soccer team will play top-ranked Akron on Friday, Sept. 24th beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Lee Jackson Field in Akron, Ohio. The game will be broadcast live on the Fox Soccer Channel, which can be viewed in Tulsa on Cox Cable channel 262 and 714 HD.
"We are looking forward to going up to play Akron on Friday," Head Coach Tom McIntosh said. "It is going to be a challenge for us, but we are playing better defensively right now and we are creating chances up front. They are an extremely talented team with eight returning starters. We'll have to play a near-perfect game to come back home with a victory."
The Golden Hurricane has started the season with a 6-0 mark, the best start in school history. Tulsa has dominated its opponents, outscoring them, 18-4, and averaging 3.0 goals per game, which currently leads the nation. TU is led offensively by Austin Neil, who has seven goals for 14 points, and Ashley McInnes, who has tallied four goals and three assists for 11 points. The Hurricane defense, anchored by Justin Chavez, Blaine Gonsalves and Chris Taylor, has led Tulsa to two shutout wins this season. Freshman goalkeeper Ray Clark has logged 556 minutes in goal, allowed four goals for a .65 goals-against average, and has picked up 18 saves for a .818 saves percentage.
"We are really excited for this game," McInnes said. "It is a huge opportunity for us to show the nation how good we are. Our forward movement needs to be positive and we need to look for scoring opportunities as much possible. These are the types of games any player wants to play in and be on the national stage."
Tulsa has not lost a regular season road game dating back to Oct. 11, 2006, spanning 22 true road contests (excluding neutral site games). Overall, TU posted a 9-10 record in 2006, a 15-3-2 mark in 2007, was 16-4-3 in 2008 and recorded a 15-5-2 mark last season.
This will be the eighth time since 2001 that Tulsa will meet the top-ranked team in the nation on the soccer pitch. TU faced SMU (2001, L, 2-0), Stanford (2002, W, 3-1), UCLA (2003 NCAA, L, 3-2), New Mexico (2005, L, 2-1 OT), SMU (2006, L, 2-0), Akron (2009, L, 1-0) and Akron (2009 NCAA, L, 1-0).
The Zips enter the contest with a 5-0 record, including wins over #3 Wake Forest (2-0) and #4 North Carolina (3-0). They have posted 11 goals this season, three of which came from Darlington Nagbe, and two each from Darren Mattocks and Perry Kitchen. UA goalkeeper David Meves has not allowed a goal this season and has picked up 12 saves. The Zips have not been scored against since Nov. 15, 2009, when Hartwick scored a goal in the Mid-American Conference Championship game, and only allowed seven goals last year.
This will be the fourth meeting between TU and UA, with the Zips earning a win in all three previous meetings. TU faced Akron twice in 2009, falling 1-0 in Tulsa during the regular season, and dropping a 1-0 decision to UA in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament in Akron. The only other meeting was in 1993, when the Zips posted a 3-0 victory.
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