Oct. 4, 2008
Box Score in PDF Format
DeKALB - In front of a facility record 570 fans at the new NIU Soccer/Track and Field Complex, No. 6 Akron handed the Northern Illinois men's soccer team its first home loss of the season, Saturday.
The Zips (7-1-2, 2-0-0 MAC) defeated the Huskies 4-0, thanks to a hat trick by forward Steve Zakuani. The sophomore scored the last three goals of the match, after Matt Tutich put in the game-winner in the 27th minute.
"He's very good at finding useful space," Simmons said of Zakuani. "He knows where the live space is, it's like the fleshy part of the defense."
The Huskies outshot the Zips, 16-14, but were outdone in shots on goal, where Akron had eight to NIU's three. Drew Jeskey (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and Engebreth Faerden (Oslo, Norway/Academy for Elite Athletes) led the Huskies with three shots each.
"We certainly had moments where a goal would've changed the momentum," Simmons said. "But you've got to be able to finish. You've got to be clinical."
Simmons was disappointed with he team's performance, which he described as "average."
"It wasn't that were bad, it's just that we were behind," he said. "We were average and second best all day. When you have the accumulation of that, you're going to have potential for the scenario that we had."
NIU goalkeeper Joe Zima (Algonquin, Ill./Jacobs) had four saves in the loss, while Akron's Evan Bush made three stops and tied the MAC career record four shutouts with his 42nd.
The Huskies move on to face Buffalo on the road, Friday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m.
"Like I told the guys before the game, we win this game, or lose this game, it doesn't make or break this season," Simmons said. "We've got to go on to play a very good Buffalo team and finish out strong."