Aug. 29, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Three second-half goals propelled No. 12 Akron to a 3-0 win over No. 3 Notre Dame on Friday night in day one of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The match was the season opener for both squads.
The Fighting Irish (0-1-0) controlled possession early and out shot the Zips (1-0-0), 8-6, in the opening half. However, it was Notre Dame with the first save of the match as senior goalkeeper Andrew Quinn (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) dove to his right to stop a Steve Zakuani shot with 27:25 remaining in the first half. Zakuani and Anthony Ampaipitakwong both had a goal and an assist for the Zips.
Notre Dame held a 9-5 advantage in corner kicks for the game and nearly converted on one with just under 22 minutes left in the first half. Senior Alex Yoshinaga (San Diego, Calif./Granite Hills) sent the ball in and junior Justin Morrow (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) put a shot wide right. Later in the half, senior Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North) was positioned well but headed a Brendan King (Naperville, Ill./Edison Academic Center (Fla.)) corner kick high over the crossbar.
Both teams managed to hit the post during the late portion of the first half. With 14:38 left, Akron’s Blair Gavin hit the far post from near the 18-yard box. Two minutes later, Notre Dame sophomore Josh Thiermann (Stoughton, Wis./Stoughton) nailed the far post from inside the box.
The match was scoreless at the intermission.
“It was a funny game statistically because the shot margin was close and we had more corner kicks than they did,” said Irish head coach Bobby Clark. “Statistically, we were in the game but the revealing thing is that we only had one shot on target. We have to do a better job with that. But I think the final result may look worse than it really was, but at the same time there is some concern.”
In the early stages of the second half, Zakuani worked his way into the 18-yard box with a run and sent a shot in that was saved by Quinn. The Irish senior came through again with 37:50 left in regulation as Gavin gathered a cross and sent a shot on frame that was stopped Quinn, who made three saves in 90 minutes of action.
The Zips notched their first goal in the 56th minute as Kofi Sarkodie headed the ball into the back of the net off a free kick from Ampaipitakwong.
Zakuani nearly made it 2-0 with just over 31 minutes left in the half as he took a shot from the right side that went just wide of the far post. Quinn made another stop for the Irish at the 24:22 mark of the period as he came off his line and disrupted a sequence by the Zips.
The Irish threatened in the 70th minute as King placed a cross that was booted by Dike, yet deflected out of bounds to give Notre Dame another corner kick. The Fighting Irish could not convert on the set piece and the Zips went ahead 2-0 on their next trip down the field as Zakuani placed the ball just inside the far post after making a nice move within the box that left him one-on-one with Quinn. The goal was scored with 18:09 left in regulation.
Akron made it 3-0 in the 79th minute when Ampaipitakwong scored off a pass from Zakuani.
“(Steve) Zakuani really took us to school a couple of times and he was the difference,” added Clark. “He is a special player.”
The Zips held a slight, 15-14, edge in shots on the night. Dike had a team-high four shots for Notre Dame. Akron goalkeeper Evan Bush made one save in the win.
Freshman Aaron Maund (Dorchester, Mass./The Roxbury Latin School) started in the central defense for the Irish. Other Notre Dame rookies making their debut on the night were midfielders King and Chris Sutton (Apple Valley, Minn./Shattuck-St. Mary’s).
The Fighting Irish will look to rebound when they face Duke in the second day of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic on Sunday. Game time is set for 11:30 a.m. (ET).
adidas/IU Credit Union Classic
Bloomington, Ind. – Bill Armstrong Stadium
Friday, Aug. 29, 2008
#12 Akron (1-0-0) 0 3 – 3
#3 Notre Dame (0-1-0) 0 0 – 0
UA: Kofi Sarkodie (Anthony Ampaipitakwong) 55:29; UA: Steve Zakuani (Teal Bunbury) 71:51; UA: Anthony Ampaipitakwong (Steve Zakuani) 78:15
Shots: UA 6-9 – 15, ND 8-6 – 14
Corner Kicks: UA 4-1 – 5, ND 6-3 – 9
Saves: UA 1 (Evan Bush 1); ND 3 (Andrew Quinn 3)
Fouls: UA 11, ND 12
Offsides: UA 2, ND 1