The Mid-American Conference leaders #6 Akron Zips (12-3-1) were defeated Sunday afternoon on a wonderful autumn day in northeast Ohio to #25 UCLA (8-7-1) 4-2 at FirstEnergy-Cub Cadet Field. Akron goal scorers were Adam Najem and Goncalo Soares. The Bruins of UCLA were led by Seyi Adekoya and Jose Hernandez, who both scored a pair of goals for the Pac-12 Conference opponents.
The loss breaks Akron’s nine-game undefeated streak and the four goals ties the most goals they’ve given up to an opponent in 2015, as they lost 4-1 to Old Dominion in late August.
In this back-and-forth contest, it was the Bruins that struck first with a goal from Seattle native Adekoya. The freshman forward was given a give-and-go pass and was able to beat Zips keeper Jake Fenlason. Adeokya was aided by a Zips turnover in their defensive third and gave UCLA the early opportunity. UCLA had taken the 1-0 lead just 7:14 into the match, which continues the woes of Akron not being able to start a match in their best form.
After that quick strike, the Zips equalized the match at the 28:12 mark of the first half when Stuart Holthusen played the perfect long ball through the Bruins defense and found Najem in stride. Majem then made quick work of the goalkeeper and laced the shot into the net as the Zips equalized at 1-1.
The resilient Bruins were able to score just one minute and 46 seconds after the Zips equalized. Again, it was a Zips mistake in the box that led to a golden opportunity for UCLA and Hernandez put away the goal to give UCLA the 2-1 lead a half an hour into the match. The Bruins would take that advantage into the half and a 5-4 lead in shots.
Holthusen worked hard for the second Zips goal. The junior dribbled down the right sideline, beat two defenders in stride towards to goal. With his talented play, he drew the defenders to him, played a short pass to Sores, who one-timed a golazo with his left foot into the top left-hand corner of the goal. UCLA goalie Pepe Barroso Silva had no chance of deflecting the well struck shot. Akron was back at level terms, 2-2 with 35 minutes remaining in the match.
But that’s when the Zips succumbed to the Bruins.
At the 74:27 mark, Seyl again scored the breakthrough for UCLA, his 11th of the year. As they did on the first goal, Adekoya teamed up with teammate Abu Danladi and the give-and-go worked to perfection. Adekoya gave the lead to UCLA and they would not give it up. Hernandez would add a penalty at the 81:08 mark to give the Bruins the 4-2 score line.
Akron will finish their 2015 regular season at home on Saturday, November 7th at 7 pm against Bowling Green.