One streak ended, another streak continued and a passing of the torch.
It was a busy week for Caleb Porter and the Akron Zips. After a successful #FillTheHill movement to pack the house last week in their match against Michigan, UA went out and beat the Wolverines 1-0 behind an Aodhan Quinn goal and shutout from goalkeeper David Meves in front of a crowd of 3,289. It was the team’s eighth consecutive shutout and the 48th shutout of senior Meves' career, which ties him with current Montreal Impact 'keeper Evan Bush (2005-08) for first place on the school's career list.
On Friday night, the Zips won their eighth consecutive game though their streak of holding their opponents scoreless ended at 713 minutes in a 2-1 victory over West Virginia. Reinaldo Brenes, who earlier in the week was named MAC Player of the Week, scored early in the 5th minute while senior Scott Caldwell provided another in the 50th minute. For Brenes, it was his eighth goal of the season—all scored over the past five matches.
With Porter’s pending arrival in Portland later this winter, Akron was faced at finding a successor at head coach. On Wednesday, the Zips found their man, elevating current associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Jared Embick into the new head coach position following this season. Embick has been with the team since 2007 has been a key figure in the Zips securing some of the best prospects in the country – and around the world – with top-five recruiting classes in each of the past five seasons, highlighted by the No. 1 class in 2009 and No. 2 classes in 2010 and 2011.
In total, Embick recruited or helped develop 14 players who have gone on to play professionally either in MLS or overseas since 2007 and at least one Timbers player was happy with the development.
Congrats Jared Embick, the new Head Coach at the University of Akron!!!
— Darlington Nagbe (@darlingtonnagbe) October 17, 2012
Elsewhere in Portland area soccer action, the UP Pilots women got back on track Sunday night with a 3-0 win over St. Mary’s on the road. Powered by Amanda Frisbie’s brace, the Pilots picked up its second straight road win—they won in overtime Friday 2-1 against San Diego State—to improve to 8-4-3 on the year and to 2-1-1 in the WCC.
Led by Megan Miller and Jenna Richardson’s pair of goals, the Oregon State Beavers women’s team cruised to a 5-1 romp over Arizona Sunday night. For the Beavers, it was the most points they scored in a single match this season and gave them an 11-4-1 overall record on the year and a 3-3-2 mark in conference play.
Timbers U-23’s forward Emery Welshman continues to lead the OSU mens' side in scoring after picking up his ninth goal in a 2-2 with Stanford on Thursday night. The Beavers fell to Cal 1-0 on Sunday evening in Berkeley.
The Akron Zips continue their great run of play this week with two victories. The first was a 2-0 non-conference win over Penn State last Wednesday in University Park, PA. Akron took control early with a pair of first-half goals from standouts Reinaldo Brenes and Scott Caldwell to hold on for the win.
Akron followed that up with a 2-0 victory over Northern Illinois on a damp Saturday afternoon in Dekalb, IL. Working behind goals from Phil Fives and Brenes--his seventh goal in the last four matches--the Zips (9-1-2, 4-0-0 MAC) extended their win streak to six matches and pushed their run of consecutive shutouts to seven while out-shooting the defending MAC Tournament Champion Huskies, 18-8.
Caleb Porter's UA is now unbeaten in its last 42 conference matches (39-0-3), which is tied with Clemson (1972-80) for the second-longest run in NCAA history. Furman, which owns the all-time standard, went unbeaten in 46 straight league contests from 1999-2003.
Moreover, Akron goalkeeper David Meves (right)--now just one shutout away from the school's all-time record--was named to TopDrawerSoccer's Team of the Week. The Zips remain at No. 3 in their poll as well as MLSsoccer.com's MLS on Campus poll.
Tuesday night, UA goes back into non-conference action against Michigan (4:30pm PT, videostream at GoZips.com). Akron and head coach Porter has a special message for Zips fans looking to come to the match as they look to #FillTheHill at FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field:
Locally, the University of Portland women's team were in action Saturday night against No. 5 Bringham Young with at least one Timbers player among the sellout 4,979:
— franck songo (@franckck) October 14, 2012
Songo'o witnessed what maybe called the Pilots Goal of the Year from Portland-native Kendall Johnson who scored a cracker of a goal in the 81st minute. Sadly for UP, it was not enough as they fell 2-1 to the Cougars. Nonetheless, just as Pilots men's team member & Timbers U-23s midfielder Steven Evans is being touted as potentially one of the best ever at UP, so too is the junior left back Johnson. As a recent Oregonian profile put it, "[UP head coach Garrett] Smith believes the Lincoln High School graduate has a chance to become the school's next national team player, joining elites such as Sophie Schmidt, Megan Rapinoe and Christine Sinclair."
After putting up a hat trick last week, University of Akron’s Reinaldo Brenes was at it again Friday night for the Zips with two goals and an assist in their 5-0 win over Florida Atlantic University. Junior Eric Stevenson (right) also had two goals and an assist while freshman Dillon Serna picked up a goal as well.
For Caleb Porter’s Zips, it was the fourth straight win and fifth straight shutout they have out-scored their last four opponents 16-0. Moreover, they have yet to allow a goal at home in five matches.
For their performances, Brenes and Stevenson were both named to Top Drawer Soccer’s National Team of the Week and Akron moved up to No. 3 in their national poll.
In Timbers U-23s news, goalkeeper Justin Baarts made a clutch penalty shot save for the University of Portland to hold on to the Pilots’ 2-1 win over Loyola Marymount also on Friday evening. U-23s member Ricardo Carrillo picked up an assist on the game-winner, his team-best fourth assist of the season.
The UP Pilots women’s team also played this weekend and despite a spirited comeback, they fell 3-2 to the San Diego State Aztecs. As part of the afternoon, UP honored their 2002 NCAA national championship team in a special ceremony at Merlo Field. Former NASL The late Clive Charles--a former Timbers NASL player and Ring of Honor member--was the coach of that squad which also included former player Colleen Little.
The Oregonian did a unique store about how Charles had such an affect on Little as a player and a person that when she ran in the Portland Marathon yesterday--finishing in 2 hours, 51 minutes and 35 seconds--she chose to have "4 Clive" on her racing bib.
“Every time I compete, I compete in remembrance of him,” Little said. “He taught all of us to be good athletes, but also to be amazing people. His suffering pushes me toward everything I do.”
It's an inspiring story about a man who is still inspiring athletes today. Read the whole thing here.
Much has been made about the release of EA Sports FIFA 13 with special Darlington Nagbe downloadable custom covers, players talking about playing, and Snoop even getting in on the act.
However, another popular video game is nearing release and USWNT star and London 2012 Gold medal winner Alex Morgan joined talk show host Conan O'Brien to review it. As you might expect, it is genius.
Favorite line: "Puts the bird in its cage, shut the door, put it to sleep. Those are the moves that are going to make this game a winner."
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer
As the US Women's National Team continues their run at London 2012 for Olympic gold, they'll have to go through Canada to do it. Unbeaten in the group stage and dispatching New Zealand in the quarterfinals, the USWNT now face a spirited Canada later this morning following the France-Japan semifinal (11:30am, NBC Sports Network).
The two teams know each other well. It was just about a year ago when JELD-WEN Field hosted a friendly between the USA and Canada in a match that had three University of Portland alums in it--Megan Rapinoe and Stephanie Lopez for the US and Sophie Schmidt for Canada. While Lopez is not on this Olympic squad this time around, Rapinoe and Schmidt look to feature heavily today in London. Moreover, Christine Sinclair, who did not play in last year's friendly in Portland, is another University of Portland player who directs much of the Canadians' attack.
Back at JELD-WEN Field last September, Wambach had two goals while Rapinoe was snakebit but with all the Cascadian connections on the field, it made for a decidedly special night in the Rose City. Take a look at the postgame video from last year then be sure to watch the Olympic semifinal later this morning.