No. 15 Deacs Tie Clemson, 1-1, in First Road Test
By Steven Wright, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@SIDeacons)
CLEMSON, S.C. - Sophomore Sean Okoli scored his first goal of the season on a pass from Luciano Delbono to help No. 15 Wake Forest tie Clemson 1-1 at Riggs Field in the Demon Deacons' first Atlantic Coast Conference game of the season.
Wake Forest remains unbeaten at 3-0-1 on the year and begins ACC play 0-0-1, while Clemson is now 1-2-2 overall and 0-0-1 in conference play.
Okoli and Delbono connected in the 69th minute to tie the game at 1-1, exactly three minutes after Clemson went on top at 65:58 on a penalty kick. Manolo Sanchez converted the PK after a hand ball was called on Wake Forest right at the edge of the box.
The Deacs came right back and applied pressure, getting a corner kick after Delbono had a shot saved. Clemson was able to clear the ball initially, but it ended right back at the feet of Delbono. He dribbled the ball from the middle of the field to the left end line before crossing the ball to Okoli who beat Clemson keeper Cody Mizell near post for the equalizer.
Wake Forest outshot Clemson 4-3 over the last 20 minutes of regulation, but neither team could find the back of the net to set up overtime.
Okoli had a the Deacs' best chance in the second overtime, controlling a pass from Michael Gamble on the left side of the box before sending the shot wide left.
Delbono's assist was his second of the season, tying him for the team lead. Michael Lisch made a season-high three saves on the night to help the Deacs remain unbeaten.
Wake Forest had a couple of chances off of corner kicks in the 11th minute but was not able to capitalize. The first corner was served in by Collin Martin and Danny Wenzel sent a diving header towards goal, but the shot was saved and knocked out of bounds by Cody Mizell. The second chance came less than 30 seconds later, and after Martin served it once again, Jalen Robinson sent the ball over the crossbar.
The Demon Deacons had a nice chance at the beginning of the second half when Kyle Emerson chipped a ball into the box for Sam Fink, who chested it down and had his shot saved from just outside the box in the 54th minute.
Wake Forest outshot Clemson 17-9 for the game, including an 8-2 advantage in the first half.
The Demon Deacons will be in action again on Tuesday when they head to Louisville to play their second of three straight road matches at 7 p.m.