Fire PDL duo, Akron win College Cup

Akron sophomore goalkeeper and Arlington Heights, Ill., native David Meves made six saves as the Zips defeated Louisville, 1-0, on Sunday to capture the 2010 NCAA College Cup at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The NCAA title is the first for any Akron sports program, and the Zips (22-1-2) handed Louisville (20-1-3) its only loss of the season.

Meves and Akron midfielder Perry Kitchen were part of this year's Chicago Fire Premier Development League team. On the Louisville side, defenders Austin Berry and J.T. Murray and midfielder Kenney Walker also were on the Fire PDL.

The Zips' Scott Caldwell delivered the game-winner in the 79th minute. Caldwell took an initial touch and strike off of Anthony Ampaipitakwong's corner kick, and the ball bounced off a couple Cardinals defenders before Caldwell again converged on the ball. He drilled a shot just underneath the crossbar past Louisville goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux.

"I am proud of the win and obviously it's very meaningful," Akron head coach and Indiana alum Caleb Porter said. "And I am equally proud of the way our guys played the game. Hopefully people will be inspired by the way we play the game, and more college teams will adopt our approach."

Akron's possession game was far stronger than Louisville's throughout much of Sunday's match, though the Cardinals created some strong scoring chances at key moments. With Akron holding a 1-0 second-half lead, Meves and the Zips defense had their work cut out for them down the stretch.

With less than 1:30 remaining, Meves made a huge kick save to keep the Cardinals off the scoreboard. And this was just the start of a roughly 50-second attack by Louisville. One particular Cardinals shot included Aaron Horton's drive that was cleared by Akron defender Chad Barson at the end line.

About 5 minutes before Caldwell's game-winner, Louisville's Berry was in the mix on a couple of corner kick opportunities. But Akron's defense managed to find a way to clear the ball in both instances.

The Zips possessed the ball for roughly 60 percent of the match.

For Meves, he has played in two straight College Cups. He and Akron fell to Virginia in a shootout in last year's College Cup. The two sides played to a scoreless draw through regulation and two overtimes.

"For these guys to recover from that, move on and work even harder is an absolute tremendous credit to these guys," Porter said. "They have been hungry all year, dug deep, kept going, kept fighting and refused to lose."

Meves had 11 shutouts this season, allowing only 16 goals in 25 games. Kitchen had six goals and an assist as both he and Meves started in all 25 of Akron's matches this year.