Men's Soccer Cruises to 3-1 Exhibition Win Over VCU

Men's Soccer Cruises to 3-1 Exhibition Win Over VCU

AKRON, Ohio - Hermann Trophy candidate Kofi Sarkodie found the net twice to lead the top-ranked University of Akron men's soccer team to a 3-1 exhibition victory over VCU in front of 2,835 fans at newly renovated Lee Jackson Field Wednesday night.

The Zips, who out-shot the Rams 12-2 for the game, cruised to the victory despite an unusual start to the contest. Just 1:28 into the game, defender Zarek Valentin played the ball back to goalkeeper David Meves from about 40 yards out. VCU got a gift goal when Meves lost his footing and fell on the grass.

But the Zips wasted little time making up for the mishap, scoring twice before halftime to regain control and continued to impose their will throughout the contest.

"It was disappointing to give up an early goal, but the nice thing is that we responded," said UA head coach Caleb Porter. "The guys showed their character and mental toughness and we were able to pull back the goal. But we still have to get a lot better, in my opinion."

Sarkodie netted the equalizer in the 29th minute. The goal capped off a strong run by the junior defender down the right side of the field and ended with a shot that wrapped just inside the near post.

The Zips' other two Hermann Trophy candidates - Anthony Ampaipitakwong and Darlington Nagbe - teamed up to record Akron's second goal, which came in the 35th minute. Ampaipitakwong set the play up perfectly by drawing the keeper in from the right side of the box before crossing the ball to Nagbe, who had trailed to the left and drove it home from about 12 yards out.

Sarkodie was opportunistic while providing the game's final margin in the 48th minute. Defender Chris Korb initiated the action from the left end line with a ball that deflected off the keeper and banged straight up off the crossbar. When the ball came down, Sarkodie was waiting for it and headed it into the net from short range.

In all, the Zips dominated nearly every category with a 7-0 advantage for corner kicks and a 7-1 edge for shots on goal.

Akron will play one more exhibition game - Saturday at South Florida - before officially kicking off the regular season in Chapel Hill against North Carolina on Sept. 3.

More than 750 season tickets have been sold for the 2010 season, but some still remain. To become an Akron soccer season ticket holder, visit www.GoZips.com/tickets, call 1-888-99-AKRON (25766) or visit in-person at the Akron Athletics Ticket Office at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field (located at the southwest corner of the venue, near Gate 1).

The UA Athletics Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET).