Wake Forest Holds off Furman 1-0 in NCAA Second Round
Nov. 28, 2007
Winston-Salem, N.C. - Julian Valentin's header on a free kick by Sam Cronin propelled Wake Forest to a 1-0 victory over visiting Furman in a second round match in the NCAA men's soccer tournament Wednesday night at Spry Stadium.
The win moves the Demon Deacons into the NCAA Tournament third round. Wake Forest will be at home on Sunday, Dec. 2 with a 1 p.m. match against West Virginia. WVU advanced after defeating Virginia 1-0 on Wednesday night.
The win also snapped a two-game losing streak against Furman in NCAA tournament play.
At the 22:47 mark of the first half, a Furman penalty set-up Cronin about 40 yards from the Furman goal. His kick came down at the center of the six-yard box where Valentin waited and timed his leap perfectly to meet the ball. His header flew by Furman goalkeeper Bryan Amos and landed in the right side of the net to give the Demon Deacons the lone goal of the match.
Second-seeded Wake Forest outshot Furman 12-3 in the first half as a majority of the first 45 minutes were played at the Paladins' end of the field.
Furman sprang to life in the second half as it outshot Wake Forest 5-2, including two scoring opportunities that were frantically thwarted by the Deacon defense.
At the 34 minute mark of the second half, Furman's Haris Cekic sent a cross from the left side of the penalty box that deflected off a Deacon defender and landed at the feet of Furman midfielder Patrick Murray. Murray's shot was kicked out by goalkeeper Brian Edwards' as both players lunged for the ball.
Minutes later, Furman's Dane Roberts rifled a shot from the middle of the penalty box that Ike Opara collected and quickly cleared as the Furman offensive pressure increased.
Edwards finished with three saves for Wake Forest. Amos totaled five saves in the loss.
"What a team they were," said Wake Forest head coach Jay Vidovich. "(They won) nineteen games. They won their conference championship as well. They're a great attacking team and you could see that in the second half, they threw everything at us and tested us. What feels good is that we just beat a fantastic team."
The Deacons lost to the Paladins 4-0 in the 1999 tournament and 1-0 in overtime to end their 1992 season. Both of those matches were played in Winston-Salem.