No. 1 Wake Forest Downs No. 2 Maryland 4-2
Sept. 26, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The top-ranked Wake Forest (8-0-0, 2-0-0 ACC) men's soccer team scored two goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half to defeat No. 2 Maryland (6-2-0, 2-1-0 ACC) 4-2 in front of a Ludwig Field record crowd of 6500.
The victory improves the Deacons to 8-0-0 on the season. The eight wins to open the season marks the best start in school history, besting the 2007 squad that won the first seven games of the season.
Maryland out-shot Wake Forest 18-11, and held a 9-7 advantage in shots on goal. Akira Fitzgerald made a career-high five saves and picked up his eighth victory of the year.
Maryland jumped out on top quickly, scoring just 50 seconds into the game. Rodney Wallace crossed the ball from the left side of the 18-yard box and found Jason Herrick, who headed the ball into the net from 10 yards out.
It didn't take long for the Deacons to even the match, scoring at the 38:41 mark of the first half. Running up the middle of the field, Corben Bone played a pass to Marcus Tracy on the right side of the box. Tracy found the top of the net to even the match at one. The goal for Tracy was his team-leading seventh of the season.
Maryland had a chance at the 18:25 point in the first half. A free kick from just past midfield took Akira Fitzgerald out of the net and to the top of the 18-yard box. Doug Rodkey sent a shot that went just right of the open net to keep the game even at one.
The Terrapins retook the lead with 16:44 remaining in the half. Casey Townsend took a shot from just outside the six-yard box that beat Fitzgerald to give Maryland a 2-1 advantage.
The Deacons evened the match in the 41st minute. Danny Wenzel played a ball from near midfield that found Ike Opara inside the 18-yard box. Opara headed the ball over the right shoulder of the goalkeeper to square the game at two going to halftime.
Wake Forest took the lead for the first time in the game in the 47th minute. Mike Lahoud played a cross to Austin da Luz from the far right side of the field. Da Luz found a streaking Zack Schilawski down the middle of the field. Schilawski fired from 10 yards out, beating the keeper and giving the Deacons a 3-2 edge.
The Deacons extended their lead to 4-2 with a goal with 31:49 remaining in the game. Marcus Tracy found da Luz on the left side of the box. Da Luz's shot from 16 yards out beat the keeper on the right side for his second goal of the season.
Wake narrowly missed a scoring chance with about 23 minutes left in the game. Austin da Luz kicked the ball from near the left post. The ball bounced over the keeper and appeared to be going in the net when Omar Gonzalez cleared the ball off the line.
Maryland nearly cut the lead to one with 15 minutes left. Casey Townsend sent a shot from the left side of the box toward the right post. Fitzgerald dove and got a hand on the ball, sending it off the right post and away.
With the victory, the series is now even at 14 wins apiece with four ties. The Deacons have now won two consecutive matches in the series.
Wake Forest returns to action on Wednesday night, stepping out of conference and traveling to Elon. Opening kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET)