The undefeated #1 Zips look to continue their ridiculously impressive season this evening at 4 pm over at Lee Jackson Field in downtown Akron. They will face a familiar opponent in the #11 Tulsa Hurricanes in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament with a berth to next week’s Final Four going to the winner.
Akron advanced in the tournament with a dominant win last Sunday at home against the Stanford Cardinal. The 2-0 victory improved the Kangaroos to 22-0-0 and it was their school-record 16th shutout of the season. The ‘Canes from Oklahoma defeated #21 Northwestern in the previous round to improve to 15-4-2, and they now look to revenge their September home loss. Expect the Ak-Rowdies to “Pack the Jack” in record-breaking fashion yet again this evening cheering on the most successful sports in the UA athletics program.
For those who follow the UA men’s soccer team, Northwestern actually might have been the opponent of choice for this round. See, those pesky Wildcats eliminated the Zips from the tournament last season and the the top seed was looking to exact some revenge in the midst of their perfect season. Lo and behold however, the Hurricanes arrive in Akron to take on the team that defeated them by the final score of 1-0 back in Tulsa this September. These are two of the top scoring teams in the nation with both averaging over 2.3 goals per contest so look for it to be an exciting match.
My folks attended the last game over at Jackson Field and I know that the athletic department is expecting over 3,000 people to attend this game. Might not seem like a lot when the Q is continuously packed with 20,000+ but it is impressive for such a small school to have such a mighty program. Share your thoughts if you are heading to the game and about the eventual results. Go Zips!
(The photo above is via Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal)