NCAA Men's Soccer: Akron Looks to Zip Past 3 ACC Powerhouses

Akron Zips

Photo: Jeff Harwell

Akron better act right if they want to make it a record 25 straight wins.

The 2009 College Cup Final four will begin at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2 with Wake Forest versus Virginia and conclude at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU with a matchup of North Carolina versus Akron. For those of you who took Stetson to bust up the bracket and meet UNC in the Final four, we feel for you. But Cinderella or no Cinderella, tuning in to watch four of the top five teams vie for NCAA supremacy isn't the worst way to spend your Friday evening.

Here's an in-depth look at each team:

North Carolina: The Tar Heels have the home-field advantage this weekend as Gary, North Carolina is only 30 minutes from Chapel Hill. The Heels were runners-up to Maryland in 08’ and are definitely feeling the pressure from their female counterpart. The Tar Heel women (aka Tar Stilettos) won their 21st national title last week, and no school has ever won both soccer titles in the same season. Our advice to the Tar Heel men: Learn this move from the Tar Stilettos and implement versus Akron.

Akron: Akron coach Caleb Porter and his Zips have rattled off 23 straight wins (23-0), tying a college record that Porter is all too familiar with. Porter was a three-year captain for the Indiana Hoosiers (7 titles) that set that NCAA record of 23 straight wins back in 1997 and later lost to UCLA in the semifinals. Porter said, “I told my team that that 97’ team was one of the best teams in the history of college soccer, but no one will ever remember that team because we never won a national championship.” If you’re a screenwriter and reading this, get typing. This is Remember the Titans type stuff.

Wake Forest: The 2007 champ Demon Deacons are in their fourth straight final four, a feat only accomplished eight times before. This 2009 Deacon team dominated the ACC, winning awards for Conference Coach of the year, Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year reminding us of the dominance the Deacon women's field hockey team showed when they three-peated between 2002-2004.

Virginia: A national title for Virginia would give them sole possession of 3rd place on the all-time with six titles behind only Indiana (7) and St. Louis (10). The Cavaliers have yet to surrender a goal in this year's tourney (5-0, 1-0, 3-0) and beat the Deacons in the ACC final in a 5-4 shootout. We’d wish UVA luck, but it looks like Al Pacino beat us to the punch.

National Title Prediction: Akron over Virginia. Besides having this amazing Coach Porter story on their side, their logo is a kangaroo and everyone knows kangaroos are the unicorns of the western hemisphere.