Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
You may know that the Mid-American Conference is respectable at soccer. Of course Akron won the national championship in 2010, but even beyond that Northern Illinois has seen success and the newest edition, West Virginia, seems poised to build the mystique of the conference.
I've noticed that Hustle Belt is big into hockey. The MAC teams (that's not really MAC teams but you get the picture) are pretty good at it.
It is interesting to me that the Mid-American Conference gets a lot of respect in these 'lesser' sports.
Last season, the MAC landed three teams in the 48-team NCAA soccer tournament. This season, the conference is all-but-guaranteed two spots with #3 ranked Akron and the aforementioned West Virginia. If there is an upset in the conference tournament, like there was last season, would repeat the three teams.
It's a shame that more schools can not afford it. Title IX knocked a lot of the teams out the door. Soccer is one of those sports that does not bring in a lot of revenue, and costs are pretty high to maintain.
Regardless, the schools that do have a team have a couple big matches coming up, and I thought i would go ahead and inform you of them.
Akron plays The University of Michigan Tuesday night. Michigan is not ranked this year, but the two teams have a lot of history between each other. in 2010, the Zips beat Michigan twice (the first time by a six to one margin, and the next on in the 'final four'--college cup). In 2011, Michigan beat Akron in overtime that seemingly deflated the Zips and their 2011 campaign.
If you are still reading, you probably care about this. Congrats, you are a good person!
Then, after that, Akron and West Virginia will have a showdown at Cub Cadet Field in Akron. The two will likely be playing for home field advantage in the Mid-American Conference tournament.
Other games this week:
• Bowling Green vs. IPFW (Tuesday)
• Detroit Mercy vs. Western Michigan (Wednesday)
• Northern Illinois vs. Valparaiso (Wednesday)
Things are starting to heat up in college soccer. It is wroth your time to start paying attention.
Our great leader has been on record many times over stating his belief that winning a championship should not be a prime goal of a MAC team. And to some extent I agree with him. But it is nice to play for something. In soccer, MAC teams do.