Another season, another regular season title.
It was never really a question of "if" Akron would capture its 18th regular season title, but rather when. The Zips came into their last game of the regular season ranked No. 5 in the country and Bowling Green, being mired in the bottom of the MAC East Division, were looking to make a statement after reaching the MAC Tournament final last season.
Last year these two teams met in that final and Akron emerged with a 2-1 victory that saw them earn entrance into the NCAA Tournament. This game meant slightly less — the Zips already held a share of the regular season title and were essentially playing for the right to host the MAC Tournament — but the outcome was the same: a win for the team that can't seem to lose in the MAC.
Friday's 4-0 win over Bowling Green not only won the Zips (13-3-2, 4-0-1 in MAC) host privileges, but also served as the perfect rebound after a 4-2 trouncing by the hands of then-ranked No. 25 UCLA at FirstEnergy Stadium -Cub Cadet Field.
That was only Akron's second home loss, and one of three on the season, and proved to be a catalyst for it to get put on a show for those attending senior night. The Zips sent seniors Jake Fenlason, Sean Sepe and Andrew Souders off in style, hosting pre-game ceremonies for the three before trouncing the Falcons.
Fenlason had a relatively quiet game in goal, only being challenged when he had to turn away a well-struck free-kick deep in the second half.
Other than that, it was all Akron, with junior Adam Najem pulling the strings from midfield and the wingers menacing Bowling Green on the flanks. It is there from which the Zips found the most success and were able to put in penetrating balls on goal for the forwards to latch on to.
Akron scored two goals in a minute early in the first half after sophomore Stuart Holthusen took advantage of a deflected shot and junior Sam Gainford quickly followed less than a minute later, dragging the ball back before slotting home for the game's second goal.
Holthusen would score again in the 21st to put the game away and by the time redshirt sophomore Tyler Sanda scored in the 74th, BGSU looked a frustrated and fractured image of itself.
The game was also permeated with a few scuffles between the players that resulted in two yellow cards being handed out to two teams, but they ultimately ended up meaning little in the end.
Now the Zips will fix their attention to the MAC Tournament and who they will play on Friday, Nov. 13 in the semifinals of the tournament.