The first half (from what I saw) was largely in Akron's favor. Akron was using the entire width of the field and had no trouble switching the point of attack. SMU didn't press on defense enough, which led to the first goal. Below are sophisticated pictures made in Paintbrush.
Akron's first goal:
A little foggy but I believe Luke Holmes played a wonderful bending ball low sent ball that was placed behind the defense into the corner for a racing Quinn. Ahead of the offense, Quinn slotted it back to the corner of the 18 for Yedlin who saw Mattocks with space on the backpost. A spot-on cross to Mattocks and a diving header put the Zips up 1-0. SMU had the numbers put the gave too much space for Quinn and Mattocks each. Collectively poor defending and the goalie was left helpless.
Akron's second goal:
A free kick from 28 yards out taken by senior Luke Holmes put the Zips up 2-0 with 27 minutes left in the second half. If you couldn't tell from the picture below, the wall split but the keeper still had a chance on the shot.
Akron's third goal:
Holmes was involved with the third goal as he laid off a long pass just past midfield. Mattocks used his speed and relative size to battle the Mustangs' Aaron Simmons. Inside the 18, Mattocks cut the ball back and Simmons tripped over the ball, without winning it. Left with a one-on-one, Mattocks put the ball in the side netting.
(I didn't draw up the first 'Stangs goal as I couldn't remember it clearly enough. Sorry SMU-ians.)
The third goal, scored with fourteen minutes left the Mustangs' crowd and the players deflated. But with seven minutes left the Mustangs finally cracked Akron's defense with a floated ball into a crowded 18. Tyler Engel remained composed on the ball as he took a touch then put it in the back of the net. 34 seconds later, the Engel drew a penalty kick when entered the 18. An aggressive tackle to clear the ball paved the way for a shortened 3-2 lead. An awful video of the PK:
The last seven minutes were split between Akron pushing the ball to the corner and SMU sending long, booming passes to find a rebound in the 18. As time expired, SMU managed a corner kick, something they were connecting well on throughout the game, but the clock ran out before they could take it.
- SMU had a free kick at the goalie's right corner of the 18 but made a very aware upper ninety save by tipping the ball over the bar. Not flashy but very smart.
- Last seconds in the first half Mustangs pulled the ball down on a long counter. Alone in the 18, he took a shot that missed backpost upper ninety by inches.
- One-on-one with SMU's keeper, Mattocks' hatrick was denied by a good angle taken by the keeper.
- Both teams had balls bouncing around inside the 18 where the shot was ultimately hit over or right at the goalie.
Seen first half stats are placed next to a (projected 45 minutes in italics). Momentum graphs read right to left as the clock counts downwards in collegiate play.
Subjective Point Graphs
SMU - 31.53 (39.42)
Akron - 39.53 (49.54)
SMU - 33.3
Akron - 30.6
None - 36.1
GG Rating - 92.3
SMU - 26.7
Akron - 26.7
None - 46.7
GG Rating - 77.8
SMU - 30.0
Akron - 28.6
None - 41.4
GG Rating - 85.0
Team - Chance…Threat Rate/100
Team - Chance…Threat Rate/100
SMU - 9…44.9
Akron - 34…17.5
SMU - 10…30.4
Akron - 35…18.6
SMU - 4…65
Akron - 6…30
SMU - 43…22.6
Akron - 26…28
SMU - 44…25.9
Akron - 22…26.4
SMU - 7…44.3
Akron - 11…44.5
SMU - 52…26.4
Akron - 60…22
SMU - 54…26.7
Akron - 57…21.6
SMU - 11…51.8
Akron - 17…39.4
Conclusion and End Notes
- How Akron won: converting chances that arose from using speed against a slower squad and spreading the attack over the entire field and through every player. Dominated possession
- How SMU lost: defensive lapses and not converting on chances (and not just saying that from a "We should have scored on every shot" sort of stance). Also had trouble connecting passes in midfield, which limited the start of their offense. Too many long balls from start to finish.
- How Akron could lose in the future: Size is a problem with the team as they, I believe, only have no field players that are over six foot and receive regular playing time. Set pieces will be dangerous against them.
- How SMU could have won: Using their size against Akron more. The long balls, while moderately effective, could have been even more dangerous had they implemented them better (crosses > straight long clears). Defensive marking and preventative awareness would help immensely.
Stand Out Players
- So. Darren Mattocks (Portmore, Jamaica) - ST - Two goals. Great speed and knows how to use his strength. Imagine a Jeff Cunningham-esque player. Off the ball, questionable.
- So. Aodhan Quinn (San Diego, California) - RM - Showed good speed and vision. Limited playing time.
- Fr. Scott Caldwell (Cleveland, Ohio) - CAM - The 145 pound midfielder ran hard and played aggressive yet smart defense. Frustrated SMU's back four.
- Sr. Luke Holmes (Oldham, England) - LM - Ran up and down the field and was a major part in every goal.
- Jr. Thomas Schmitt (Berea, Ohio) - RM - Fast, moves well off the ball, great touch.
- Sr. Matt Dagilis (Akron, Ohio) - CB - Smart play.
- Sr. Michael Balogun (Houston, Texas) - LB - Poised on the ball and was never ratted. Team looked confident when the ball was at his feet. Defensively sound.
- Sr. Payton Hickey (Plano, Texas) - LM - Came into the game late and energized the offensive with his speed and effort.
- Jr. Ben Hill (Coppell, Texas) - ST - Poor surrounding play but his touch was great with an added bonus of creatively although not flashy. Holds his own but was clearly annoyed/disappointed with poor runs he was shown by teammates.
- Fr. Tyler Engel (Orland Park, Illinois) - CM - Up and down. Good vision. Helped in both goals.
Akron's blue collar worth ethic will continue to advance them while SMU, with arguably better talent, showed poor cohesiveness. Both teams had "should have scored" goals so the score line is accurate this time.
- Not one offside was called in the game.
- The field was the nicest field I've ever seen in my life.
- At halftime the two teams' subs were warming up on the field for a few minutes. SMU players were working on 20+ yard shots and volleys while Akron was working on possession play.