I am not going to pretend to be an expert on collegiate soccer, however I did grow up in Westerville, Ohio. I was born in 1974 and for as long as I can remember, soccer was the equal of all the other major sports in our little corner of the world.
This past Saturday afternoon, I watched “American” football like the rest of you. As afternoon shifted to evening, I was not happy with the selection of football games my particular cable provider was providing.
I found the Akron men’s soccer game. It was fantastic. They knocked off Saint Mary’s out of California with a final score of 2-1.. The Saint Mary’s goal was one of the most impressive I have seen and sent the game to overtime. It was all new to me, as anymore I generally only watch World Cup soccer, with the occasional Premier League game thrown in.
Having not really given a second thought to college soccer since my high school days, I decided to get the lay of the land. Akron, which I did happen to know was one of the better programs around, was actually on a nice little run. Prior to beating Saint Mary’s, they knocked off number 21 UMass Lowell, 5-0, and beat number 1 and previously unbeaten Michigan State, 4-1.
Naturally, I checked the latest rankings to see what kind of effect it had, and I was shocked to see that Akron wasn’t ranked. Granted, the Zips are only 7-3-1 on the season. If you just look at record, I suppose I can understand why they wouldn’t be ranked. Even though I don’t follow college soccer religiously, I took an extra minute to look beyond the record.
Akron started the season 1-3. After starting the season with a win, they lost 3 straight. Two of those three were consecutive road losses to ranked teams by the score of 1-0. In their last 7 games, they are 6-0-1. They have consecutive wins against ranked teams, including the number 1, by a combined 9-1.
Rank the Zips. They deserve it.
While the Zips aren’t currently ranked, the Western Michigan Broncos are at number 12. They take on number 6 Michigan State tomorrow at 4:30 EST.
I get that everyone doesn’t follow soccer but now would be a good time to start if you are a fan of #MACtion. Exciting games, nationally relevant teams, easy to follow rules. What more could you ask for?