It was a David versus Goliath matchup as the men's soccer team went up against the No. 3 ranked team in the nation on Friday night.
The underdog did not prevail on this night.
The Bulls (7-10-1, 4-2-0 Mid American Conference) were knocked out of the MAC tournament by the eventual champion, the Akron Zips (18-1-1). The 3-1 loss was a crushing one that ended the 2010 season.
"The effort was most certainly there," said head coach John Astudillo. "We proved to ourselves that we could compete given the circumstance [of playing a top team]."
Akron came out strong and commanded the pitch early in the game. Zips midfielder Michael Nanchoff scored from 23 yards out, following a free kick in the first half that gave Akron the lead.
Akron added two more goals late in the second half to increase its lead to 3-0.
Senior midfielder Sam Craven ended his career with the first and only goal for the Bulls with a shot just in front of the net late in the second half. The goal was the first and last of the senior's career.
"We are all so proud of the boys," Astudillo said. "They definitely put their hearts out tonight."
The Bulls were outshot 16-4 in the match and senior goalkeeper Nick Fetterman ended his career with one save for the Bulls.
"Casey [Derkacz], Sam and Kieron [Gradwell] were the best players on the pitch," Astudillo said. "They played with heart and composure. You can tell they didn't want it to be their last game...We are certainly going to miss them."
Seniors Mike Unwin, Craven, Jordan Brouk and Rich Wilson each attempted one shot for the Bulls.
Unwin was named to the All-MAC team for the second consecutive season. He led the Bulls with five goals and 13 points this season.
"The last time we played Akron we knew that there were things we could do better," Astudillo said. "We adjusted our game and this time we had more control. We showed improvement and we can walk away knowing now what to improve on, playing at such a great level of soccer."