NIU men’s soccer falls to Akron 2-0

By Brian Thomas

NIU men’s soccer suffered a loss on the road Saturday 2-0 at the hands of the defending National Champions and No. 3 ranked Akron.

This was the first match of the season where the Huskies (8-3-0, 0-2-0 MAC) were shutout and did not score one goal.

“In reality, it was going to be hard to win against Akron at their place,” said NIU head coach Eric Luzzi. “I thought that if we performed well, we could win, but I don’t know if we expected to win.”

The Zips’ (8-1-2, 2-0-0 MAC) offense is considered one of the best in the nation, and it showed in their match against NIU.

Akron’s Darren Mattocks scored both of the goals in the first half. Mattocks scored his first goal of the match in the 16th minute on a header that was assisted by sophomore Aodhan Quinn.

Mattocks later scored his second goal in the 32nd minute of the match for the Zips to make the score 2-0.

The two goals in the match gave Mattocks 10 goals on the season.

“He’s a good player, but he’s nothing special,” Luzzi said. “We’ve seen a lot more dangerous players than him.”

The Huskies’ offense was not able to get going in the match as they were only able to take three shots.

Akron’s defense had a lot to do with that, as they have only allowed six goals all season and now have seven shutouts.

NIU junior goalkeeper Jordan Godsey had four saves in the match.

Luzzi was not happy with the outcome of the game.

“It was disappointing. It was very disappointing,” Luzzi said. “Akron is a very good team, but we are a very good team, too. I think our guys went into the game and gave them too much respect. We played very nervous and tentative and made a lot of mistakes in the first half and they capitalized on our mistakes.”