Akron / Creighton Region Men's Soccer 1st and 2nd Round Breakdowns

Akron / Creighton Region 1st and 2nd Round Breakdowns

Before they get a chance to dust off their boots in the second round Akron and Creighton will have to wait out the first round to see who they match up against in the second. The Michigan/Niagara match up will be similar to the Washington/Air Force game. All four teams have had their successes and downfalls this season and they all match up just about equally. Michigan and Washington both had the tougher schedules, but Niagara and Air Force dominated their conference tournaments. No telling which side of the ball the games will come down to, but chances are the matches will end by a single goal. 


#5 Akron vs. Michigan/Niagara

Before meeting Akron in the second round, Michigan and Niagara will face off in the first round to see who moves on. Niagara just won the MAAC tournament crown and has their stride set a little bigger than Michigan, who lost out to Michigan State in the Big Ten final. Niagara’s defense was able to hold their opponents off better than Michigan, but the Wolverines saw more matches against higher ranked teams. Michigan’s defense allowed 115 shots on goal, giving up 23 goals, while the offense was only able to find the net 26 times. Niagara faired a little better, making 30 goals on the season. Both teams match up well against each other offensively but Niagara’s defense trumps Michigan’s.

Akron, the MAC tournament champs, had a low scoring season netting only 20 goals while the defense gave up 20 as well. Akron and Michigan both had tougher schedules than Niagara, so a big game like this will be to their advantage. If Akron sees Niagara, they will need to keep their defense tight and not allow the ball to enter the box and step it up on the offensive side. If they meet Michigan in the second round, they can play a little more relaxed with possibly a little more room to pass the ball around to get it in the right spot for a good shot. The second round match will most likely be a low scoring game and could possibly see some overtime.


#12 Creighton vs. Washington/Air Force

Air Force was an unstoppable force against ranked New Mexico beating them all three times the teams met up. Air Force beat New Mexico twice in the regular season and then met them in the MPSF conference championship game and came out on top again. Washington didn’t make it to the PAC 12 tournament but finished the season strong with a win over Oregon State. Both Washington and Air Force have accurate offenses but Air Force’s defense doesn’t match up well against Washington’s. Washington’s defense was able to put away eight matches with a shutout, giving up only 15 goals. Air Force only added five shutouts to their record but was also shut out four times by their opponents. The Air Force defense also allowed 28 goals while their offense tallied just 29. Both teams will be heading into the first round looking for a win and a chance to go up against Creighton.

The Missouri Valley Conference champs Creighton held their own throughout the season winning 15 matches, scoring a total of 33 goals. The Blue Jays have depth on the offense when it comes to players that can put the ball in the net, but the biggest challenge that their opponents will face in the tournament is their impenetrable defense. Keepers Jeff Gal and Alex Bolowich racked up a total of 81 saves, allowing just 16 goals. With one of the better defenses in the league, both Washington and Air Force will have to step up their offense. The better match will be Washington against Creighton but Air Force was able to take out New Mexico giving them a slight advantage of knowing how to take care of a ranked team.


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