No. 1 Wake Forest Scores Four Second Half Goals to Clinch ACC Title
Nov. 1, 2008
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - No. 1 Wake Forest (16-0-1, 6-0-1 ACC) exploded for four second half goals to defeat No. 7 North Carolina (11-5-1, 3-4-0 ACC) 4-2 on Saturday night at Fetzer Field. The victory clinched the ACC regular season title for the Deacons, their fourth regular season championship in the last seven years.
"North Carolina gave us a very difficult time in the first half," head coach Jay Vidovich said. "They put us under a lot of pressure and got a goal before halftime. In the second half, we found a way to deal with their defensive pressure. We made a couple of personnel changes and it paid off."
The four ACC regular season championships ranks Wake Forest in a tie for second among schools in the conference with Duke, trailing only Virginia's 10 regular season titles. The Deacs also captured the regular season crown in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
"We're very happy to have clinched the ACC title," Vidovich added. "It was one of the goals we set for ourselves in the preseason and we're happy to have accomplished it."
Zack Schilawski came off the bench to pace the Deacon offensive attack. The forward from Cary, N.C., recorded the fifth multi-goal game of his career as he scored two goals with four minutes in the second half, including the game-winning goal.
"Zack was special tonight," Vidovich said. "He came in during the first half and gave us some good runs. We stayed with him in the second half and he played well. He made some good penetrating runs and was able to finish his chances."
The victory extends Wake Forest's unbeaten streak to 22 straight games. Wake's last loss came at the hands of Boston College on November 18, 2007, in the ACC Tournament Championship game.
North Carolina was able to outshoot the Deacons 13-10, with all 10 of Wake Forest's shots coming in the second half. Wake had seven shots on goal, while the Tar Heels only attempted six shots on frame.
After trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Deacon offense took control in the second half, scoring four consecutive goals, including three goals in a five minute and 26 second stretch of the second half.
Cody Arnoux evened the game in the 64th minute. North Carolina goalkeeper Jacob Wescoe came 35 yards out of his goal, leaving an open net. The ball found Arnoux, who was able to flick a shot over a Tar Heel defender and find the left side of the net for his team-leading 13th goal of the season.
The Demon Deacons took their first lead of the game just 52 seconds later as Schilawski tallied for the first time in the game. Arnoux played a through ball that found Schilawski at the top of the 18-yard box. Schilawski dribbled around a defender and his shot from 20 yards out beat Wescoe into the left side of the net to give Wake Forest a 2-1 edge.
Schilawski scored for the second time of the game in the 69th minute. Marcus Tracy played a pass to Schilawski on the right side of the 18-yard box. Schilawski attempted to cross the ball back to Tracy, but the pass was deflected into the net by a UNC defender to give Schilawski his eighth goal of the season.
Sam Cronin scored the fourth Wake Forest goal of the night in the 80th minute. A hard foul by North Carolina inside the 18 created a penalty kick for the Deacons. Cronin took the penalty kick and found the left side of the net to extend the lead to 4-1.
UNC added its second goal of the game in the 82nd minute, also on a penalty kick. A Wake Forest foul inside the 18-yard box gave the Tar Heels a penalty kick and Michael Callahan scored his second goal of the year to cut the lead to 4-2.
North Carolina took the lead in the first half on a goal in the 44th minute. Cameron Brown sent a shot from the left side of the 18 yard box to give the Tar Heels a 1-0 edge. Brian Shriver was credited with the assist on the play.
Akira Fitzgerald made four saves in the game to pick up his 16th win of the season. Wescoe made three saves in the contest to pick up the loss.
Wake Forest has now won three straight games against North Carolina. The Tar Heels still lead the overall series 19-10-7.
The Deacons are back in action on Friday, November 7, as they close the regular season at Virginia. Opening kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) and the game will be shown live on ACC Select.