Top-ranked Akron dominated the No.16 Bulls for the full 90 minutes as Anthony Ampaipitakwong scored twice in the first half to give the Zips a 2-0 victory in the second round of the NCAA Division I Tournament at Lee Jackson Field.
"The one thing that I will take away from this game is the total team effort that our team plays with," Zips coach Caleb Porter said. "It seems as though it is always different guys scoring goals and stepping up. I feel good about the fact that this team will find ways to win using different players at different times."
Ampaipitakwong struck first in the 25th minute as he bent a free kick from just outside the penalty area into the top left corner of the net, and then rifled a shot into the right corner of the net eight minutes later to double the Zips advantage.
The Bulls had an early chance when Andre Mittoo had his effort saved, but that would be the only shot South Florida would manage as Akron’s pressure continually disrupted the Bulls rhythm.
"I thought we defended well," Porter said. "Coming into the game we wanted to disrupt their rhythm with pressure. I thought we were able to stop a very explosive, attacking team. South Florida likes to keep possession of the ball and control the game, but we were able to prevent them from doing that tonight."
Akron (21-0-0) is trying to become the first Division I side to win the NCAA championship with a perfect record in 35 years. South Florida (14-4-3), which faltered a little down the stretch after opening the season 13-1-1, will now look to build for the future. With only three senior starters, Jorge Mora, Francisco Aristeguieta and Zak Boggs graduating, the Bulls appear they will have a strong side returning for the spring season, and next fall.