No. 1 Deacs Beat No. 5 Tigers for Trip to ACC Title Game
Nov. 8, 2017

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Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeMSoccer)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Top-ranked Wake Forest clinched a spot in Sunday's ACC Championship game with a 2-1 victory over No. 5-ranked Clemson at Spry Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Demon Deacons (17-1-1) lock up a berth in the title game for a second-consecutive season for just the second time in program history, joining the 2006-07 teams. Wake Forest has never won back-to-back titles, with the program's two conference championships coming in 1989 and 2016.

In the championship game, Wake Forest will play sixth-seeded and No. 17-ranked Virginia at MUSC Health Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. The game is set for noon on Sunday and will air live on ESPNU.

Jon Bakero scored the game-winner in the 79th minute. The Tiger (12-5-1) keeper came out of the 18-yard box to head away a Wake Forest cross, and the clearance went straight to Bakero. Wake Forest's senior captain calmly lofted a shot over the defense from 30 yards for his ACC-leading 14th goal of the season.

The Deacs struck first in the 32nd minute. Bakero took a shot from close range which Clemson keeper Ximo Miralles deflected away, but Omir Fernandez collected the rebound and fired it into the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season. Bakero picked up his 14th assist of the year on the play.

Clemson answered back with a second-half equalizer. Harrison Kurtz dropped off a pass to Saul Chinchilla, who dribbled into the box and scored far post to even the score at 1-1 in the 70th minute.

Wake Forest held a 14-7 advantage in shots, including a 5-3 margin in shots on goal plus a 13-3 difference in corner kicks. Andreu Cases Mundet made two saves to earn the win. Bakero led the Deacs with five shots and Ema Twumasi added four.

• Already the national leader in points, Jon Bakero continued his climb with another goal and assist on Wednesday.
• He now has 96 career points, and is four away from becoming the fourth Deacon ever to reach 100. His 35 goals and 26 assists all-time each rank sixth.
• Bakero has tied Cody Arnoux for third-place all-time with 42 points this year, also matching Zack Schilawski for eighth all-time with 14 goals, and taking sole possession of third place with 14 assists this year.

• Though Wake Forest and Virginia haven't met yet in 2017, the Cavaliers are the most common foe for the Deacs in the ACC Tournament.
• Virginia is also the only team Wake Forest has played in the ACC Tournament and not defeated, with the Deacs holding an 0-13-4 record all-time. Out of the four draws, Virginia advanced in PKs three of the four times. The last eight losses have all come by one goal, including four in overtime.
• The teams have not yet met in the postseason in the Bobby Muuss era. Wake Forest has won the last two regular season meetings, coming in 2016 and 2014.

• Before the arrival of head coach Bobby Muuss, the Deacs were 14-22-11 all-time in the ACC Tournament and 0-3-1 in the finals. Since his arrival, Wake Forest is 7-1-0, including a win in his only title game.
• Muuss has also guided the Deacs to a 6-2-0 record in the NCAA Tournament for a total mark of 13-3-0 in the postseason.

• With Clemson's second-half goal, Wake Forest's shutout streak was snapped at 672:31. • That surpassed the previous second-place mark of 639:59 set in 1992, but fell short of last year's record of 855:46.