AKRON, OH – Steve Kalan had a hat trick in the first half, including a pair of goals in the first 8:05 as Akron defeated UNC Greensboro, 4-0, in men’s soccer action Tuesday night.
The game was a match-up of No. 1 teams from the last two seasons. The Zips (11-4-1) were the final remaining unbeaten team last year and spent most of the year as an unlikely No. 1 team atop the national polls, much the way UNCG was in 2004.
But Kalan’s first half stole the show. The junior entered the contest with two goals this season, but doubled that in the first eight minutes of the match, which was Akron’s senior night. He scored just 1:19 in to the match off a corner kick feed by Jonathan McClain to make it a 1-0 advantage.
Kalan scored again, however, just 6:44 later. Pablo Moreira played a ball from 20 yards out. Kalan was able to get a foot on it and tuck it just inside the far post for a 2-0 lead.
Kalan completed his hat trick at 39:21 and gave the Zips a commanding 3-0 advantage. Kalan weaved through the Spartan defense and beat keeper Nate Berry for the goal.
Akron scored once more before halftime and Ben Zemanski scored on a header with 2:02 remaining before halftime.
With a forecast that included a 40 percent chance of snow, the weather was as cold as the Spartan offense. At game time, the temperature was 41 degrees with a 33 degree wind chill and that continued to drop through the game. UNCG, which sat down several starters during the second half, managed just six shots to Akron’s 11. Evan Bush recorded his ninth shutout of the season for Akron and his 23rd in the last two seasons.
UNCG (11-7-1), which has already clinched the Southern Conference regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the Southern Conference Tournament, was playing without two starters due to red card suspensions. Both Henning Jonasson and Michael FitzGerald are eligible to return to the line-up when UNCG returns to action on Saturday night in the SoCon Tournament’s first round against Wofford. That game is slated for 7 pm at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
UNC Greensboro...... 0 0 - 0
Akron........................ 4 0 - 4
SCORING SUMMARY: AKRON Kalan (McClain), 1:19; AKRON Kalan (Moreira), 8:05; AKRON Kalan (unassisted), 39:21; AKRON Zemanski (Ubiparipovic), 42:58. Shots: UNC Greensboro 6, AKRON 11. Saves: UNC Greensboro 2 (Berry 2), AKRON 3 (Bush 3). Corner Kicks: Akron 5, UNC Greensboro 3. Fouls: Akron 13, UNC Greensboro 12.
- UNCG -