No. 1 Wake Forest and Duke Play to Scoreless Tie
Oct. 18, 2008
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Both teams had great scoring chances, but neither No. 1 Wake Forest (13-0-1, 4-0-1 ACC) or Duke (6-5-2, 2-2-2 ACC) were able to find the back of the net on Saturday night as the two teams played to a 0-0 tie at Spry Stadium.
"I'm always disappointed when we don't win," head coach Jay Vidovich said. "What we're looking for is where we're at and we came up short in some ways. Our focus and what we did was correct. We could have won the game in the first five minutes if we had of finished one of those chances. I think we're going to get a lot out of this game. We'll find ways to make ourselves better."
The tie moves Wake Forest into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Deacons now have 13 points on the season, one ahead of second-place Virginia.
The tie extends Wake Forest's home unbeaten streak to 30 consecutive games. The streak is tied for the fourth longest in NCAA history.
The shut out marked the first time in 24 games that the Deacons had failed to find the back of the net. The last team to shut Wake Forest out was Boston College on October 27, 2007.
Wake Forest out shot Duke 14-10, but both teams managed four shots on goal. The Deacons had six corner kicks, compared to three for the Blue Devils.
Wake Forest controlled the early portions of the game, taking three shots that nearly found the back of the net. Duke goalkeeper Brendan Fitzgerald made a stop on two of the shots. The best chance came off the foot of Corben Bone in the eighth minute. Bone's shot hit off the crossbar and went away to keep the game scoreless.
Duke answered back with a couple of quality chances of its own. In the 22nd minute, Mike Grella had a shot that was saved by Deacon goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald.
Wake Forest had another golden opportunity in the 54th minute. Bone played a through ball, which found Marcus Tracy one-on-one with the Duke goalkeeper. Tracy's shot went just wide of the right post to keep the game scoreless.
In the first overtime period, Zack Schilawski had a chance to win the game for Wake Forest. His shot from three yards out was saved by the Brendan Fitzgerald.
It appeared that Wake Forest had won the game early in the second half. A header from Ike Opara found the back of the net, but the linesman ruled that Opara was offside, keeping the game tied at zero.
The Blue Devils had three quality scoring chances in the last two minutes of the second overtime. Cole Grossman's shot from the 16 yards out on the right side of the box went just wide of the left post.
Duke managed two shots in the last minute of the game. Grella attempted a shot that was saved by Akira Fitzgerald, forcing a corner kick. Off the corner kick, Pavelid Castaneda's shot went just high as time expired.
Bone led Wake Forest with a career high six shots, while Cody Arnoux added three shots. Grella had four shots to lead the Blue Devils, with all four shots on frame.
Akira Fitzgerald made four saves for Wake Forest en route to recording his ninth shut out of the season. The nine clean sheets puts Fitzgerald in a tie for second for most shut outs in a season, four behind Brian Edwards, who had 13 shut outs in 2007.
Duke's Brendan Fitzgerald made four saves in the game for the Blue Devils.
Wake Forest is back in action on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. (ET), traveling to Davidson for the team's final non-conference game of 2008. The Deacons return home on Saturday, October 25, to face Boston College in the team's final home game of 2008. Wake Forest will honor its senior class in a ceremony before the game against the Eagles.