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Akron Unveils Challenging 2017 Men's Soccer Schedule

Akron Unveils Challenging 2017 Men's Soccer Schedule

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AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron men's soccer team unveiled a challenging 2017 slate, one that will see the Zips face five opponents from the 2016 NCAA Tournament field, including four that advanced to the Round of 16, fifth-year head coach Jared Embick announced today.

In 2017 the Zips' 11-match season-ticket package features visits to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field by Washington from the Pac-12, Michigan State and Penn State from the Big Ten and Notre Dame from the ACC. A very fan-friendly slate features six of Akron's 11 home games taking place on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. 

Akron is set to return seven starters, including all Mid-American Conference performers in seniors Pau Belana (Barcelonia, Catalonia), Sam Gainford (Liverpool, England) and Stuart Holthusen (Auckland, New Zealand), junior Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) and sophomore Nick Hinds (Plantation, Fla.) in 2017 from a squad that captured MAC regular season and tournament titles en route to advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the 31st time in program history on the strength of an overall record of 13-6-3 during the 2016 campaign.

A notable home highlight in September includes a showdown with Washington (Sept. 1) for the Zips’ home opener.

The month of September also includes home contests versus UMass-Lowell (Sept. 24), Michigan State (Sept. 27) and Saint Mary’s (Sept. 30). 

The Zips renew their rivalry with Cleveland State on Oct. 10, before squaring off against Notre Dame on Oct. 17. Akron opens the home portion of its league slate on Oct. 21 hosting Bowling Green before closing out their regular season campaign welcoming Marshall and Northern Illinois to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field for matches on Nov. 1 and Nov. 4, respectively.

Limited Reserved Bleacher Back ($110) and General Admission ($60) season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by logging on to GoZips.com/tickets, calling 1-888-99-AKRON (25766) or visiting The C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field (located at 375 E. Exchange Street, near Gate 1 at the southwest corner of the venue, at the corner of E. Exchange and S. Union streets) Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Renewal invoices for existing season ticket holders have been mailed out. 

Discounted general admission season tickets for Akron faculty/staff are also available for $48 and must be purchased in person or on the phone. Additionally, general admission family plans ($200), which include a combination of two adult and two youth tickets or one adult and three youth tickets, are available for the fall at this time.

As another option, all Akron Alumni are eligible to purchase the Alumni all-sport season-ticket package for $175, which includes general admission season tickets for men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, and a reserved seat for football. 

As a reminder, season-ticket holders from the 2016 campaign have until June 15, 2017 to renew and guarantee their seat(s) for next fall. One of the benefits of being a season-ticket holder is postseason ticketing priority.

Group experiences that include discounted tickets are on sale now for a minimum of 15 people. These include line-up buddies when the players are announced and chances to be ball boys during the game.

The Zips will take the field for the first time on Aug. 16 when Akron hosts Penn State for an exhibition tilt at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

Akron battled the Nittany Lions to a 2-2 double-overtime draw last season on Oct. 18 

The Zips close their exhibition slate hosting Loyola University Maryland in an Aug. 19 showdown at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. The Greyhounds posted an 8-6-3 ledger in 2016, including a 6-1-2 record in the Patriot League.

The Zips open their 63rd season of intercollegiate soccer traveling to Orem, Utah, for their first-ever encounter with Utah Valley State on Aug. 25. The Wolverines registered a mark of 15-4-1 a season ago, including netting victories over nationally-ranked Washington and Gonzaga. 

Akron and Denver will be meeting for the first time in program history. In 2016, the Pioneers earned a No. 6 national seed and advanced to the College Cup where Denver was bettered by Wake Forest, 2-1.

The following weekend the Zips return to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field to host Washington on Sept. 1. 

The Zips will be squaring off against Washington, who garnered a No. 11 national seed en route to advancing to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, for the third time in program history and first since Akron earned a 2-1 road overtime triumph on Sept. 26, 2004.

The Zips follow with back-to-back road contests at Santa Barbara (Sept. 9) and Saint Louis (Sept. 16). 

Owning 12 all-time tournament appearances, the Gauchos captured the 2006 College Cup and are hosting Akron after the Zips registered a 2-0 victory past fifth-ranked Santa Barbara on Sept. 12, 2016.

Akron visits 10-time NCAA champion Saint Louis for the first time since the Zips posted a 4-0 victory over the Billikens on Sept. 10, 2011. 

A three-game homestand follows with the Zips hosting UMass Lowell (Sept. 24), Michigan State (Sept. 27) and Saint Mary’s (Sept. 30).

The River Hawks, who posted 13-1-2 ledger in 2016 en route to a final No. 19 national ranking, will be eligible for the NCAA Tournament for the first time after fully completing their transition to Division I a year ago. 

The Spartans turned in a 13-5-2 record a season ago, including besting the Zips, 2-1, on Oct. 11, 2016 in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State advanced to the NCAA Tournament where the Spartans battled Southern Illinois-Edwardsville to a 1-1 draw before failing to advance on penalty kicks.

The Zips and Gaels will be squaring off for the first time when the two teams meet on Sept. 30. Saint Mary’s went 8-8-3 in 2016, including earning a 2-2 double-overtime draw with eventual national champion Stanford.

Akron opens the month of October traveling to Syracuse, N.Y., for its second-ever encounter with the Orange on Oct. 3. The Zips bested Syracuse, 2-1, on Sept. 5, 1987 in the lone meeting between the two schools.

The No. 8 national seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, Syracuse bettered Dartmouth in the second round, 3-0, before dropping a 1-0 decision versus ninth-seeded North Carolina in the third round.

Akron opens up defense of its 2016 MAC regular season crown on Oct. 7 at Western Michigan. The Zips edged the Broncos in the regular season finale a year ago, 3-0, before recording a 4-0 triumph past Western Michigan in the MAC Tournament semifinals.

A three-game homestand follows with the Zips hosting Cleveland State (Oct. 10), Notre Dame (Oct. 17) and Bowling Green (Oct. 21). 

Akron will be playing Cleveland State for the 53rd time in program history and first since the Zips bested the Vikings, 5-0, on Oct. 28, 2014. Cleveland State posted a 7-8-2 record in 2016, including registering a 1-0 win over Horizon League champion UIC (Illinois at Chicago).

For the first time since the 2002 campaign, Akron will welcome Notre Dame to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field on Oct. 17. The Zips own a 7-3-3 series advantage against the Fighting Irish and are squaring off against Notre Dame for the initial match-up since dropping a 3-1 decision to the then 12th-rated Fighting Irish on Sept. 7, 2012. 

A year ago, 13th-seeded Notre Dame edged Loyola-Chicago in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, before falling by a 3-1 margin at Louisville in the third round.

Bowling Green comes to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field on Oct. 21 before Akron closes out its regular-season road slate with tests at Pittsburgh (Oct. 24) and West Virginia (Oct. 27). 

The Zips are set to battle the Panthers for the 26th time in program history and for the first time in the regular season since the 1983 campaign.

Akron closes out the month of October traveling to Morganton, W.Va., seeking to avenge its lone conference loss a season ago when it battles the Mountaineers. 

The Zips open the month of November hosting Marshall on Nov. 1 before welcoming Northern Illinois to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field for Senior Night on Nov. 4.

The league's regular-season champion will host the 2017 MAC Tournament Nov. 10-12, while the NCAA College Cup, which will be played at PPL Park in Philadelphia, Pa., is scheduled for Dec. 8-10. 

In all, Akron, which will compete in 17 regular-season matches, is scheduled to play four games against the MAC, three versus the Atlantic Coast Conference and one each versus the Atlantic-10, America East, Big Ten, Big West, Conference USA, Pac-12, Summit League, West Coast and Western Athletic Conferences.

All Zips' regular season home games will start at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of a 12 p.m. tilt versus UMass Lowell on Sept. 24.

Additionally, for the ninth consecutive season, select Zips men's soccer matches will be carried on the Akron IMG Sports Network, 1350 AM (WARF). The complete broadcast schedule will be announced at a later time.

2017 AKRON MEN'S SOCCER SCHEDULE

Date

Opponent

Time

Aug. 16

PENN STATE (EXHIBITION)

1 P.M.

Aug. 19

LOYOLA (MD) (EXHIBITION)

4 P.M.

Aug. 25

at Utah Valley

9 P.M. ET

Aug. 28

at Denver

9 P.M. ET

Sept. 1

WASHINGTON

7:30 P.M.

Sept. 9

at Santa Barbara

10 P.M. ET

Sept. 16

at Saint Louis

8 P.M. ET

Sept. 24

UMASS LOWELL

12 P.M.

Sept. 27

MICHIGAN STATE

7:30 P.M.

Sept. 30

SAINT MARY’S

7:30 P.M.

Oct. 3

at Syracuse

7 P.M.

Oct. 7

at Western Michigan *

1 P.M.

Oct. 10

CLEVELAND STATE

7:30 P.M.

Oct. 17

NOTRE DAME

7:30 P.M.

Oct. 21

BOWLING GREEN *

7:30 P.M.

Oct. 24

at Pittsburgh

7:30 P.M.

Oct. 27

at West Virginia *

7 P.M.

Nov. 1

MARSHALL

7:30 P.M.

Nov. 4

NORTHERN ILLINOIS *

7:30 P.M.

Nov. 10-12

MAC Championship (Highest Seed Hosts)

TBA

Dec. 8-10

NCAA College Cup (Philadelphia, Pa.)

TBA


* Indicates Mid-American Conference game

All dates and times subject to change

Homes matches in BOLD CAPS