Men's Soccer Falls to Akron in MAC Championship Game
AKRON, Ohio- Akron's offense proved too powerful for the Broncos Sunday, defeating Western Michigan, 4-1, in the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship.
The Zips scored two goals in each half and fired 18 shots in the game. Akron entered the week as the eighth-ranked team in the nation. Senior midfielder Brian Heimerdinger had the WMU's lone goal in the 81st minute, scoring on a cross from freshman Edu Jimenez.
WMU finishes the season with a 9-9-1 overall record and as MAC regular season and MAC Tournament runners-up.
Three Broncos were named to the All-Tournament Team, goalkeeper Chase Rau, defenseman Connor Furgason and forward Oliver Mayer. Furgason scored the game-winning goal in Friday's 1-0 semifinal victory over Hartwick.
"Akron was the better team today, you just have to tip your hat to them, they were terrific in every phase of the game," said WMU head coach Chad Wiseman.
"Chase was absolutely unbelievable throughout the match. Conceding four goals just doesn't do his performance justice. He had four or five saves no body I have seen this year could make.
"I am so proud of this team, they have come so far in the four months together. I could not of asked anything more of them today or throughout the season. They gave us everything they had."
Akron took a 1-0 lead 11:44 into the game when conference player of the year Aodhan Quinn hit a shot to the back post from 15 yards out. The Zips quickly made it 2-0 just over a minute later when Zac Portillos scored unassisted from the left flank.
The Zips stretched their lead to 4-0 in the second half, before Heimerdinger could put WMU on the board. Reinaldo Brenes put back a rebound in the 50th minute and Portillos notched his second goal of the game in 56th minute.
Mayer, Jimenez and Sean Hazen each took a shot for Western Michigan. Rau made six saves in goal.
"It was a great first season," Wiseman said. "The men without question proved they were one of the best teams in the MAC, playing in not one but two championship games. The future looks bright, between the returning players, incoming commitments, community, active-excited alumni and the support from our great university we are building something special.
"To the seniors who played their last game today, I congratulate and thank them for everything they have given to this program."