Wake Forest to Visit South Carolina in NCAA Tournament First Round Match
Nov. 16, 2011
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest men's soccer will make its return to the NCAA Tournament after a one year hiatus on Thursday, Nov. 17 at Stone Stadium in Columbia, S.C. when the Demon Deacons face South Carolina in a First Round match at 7:00 p.m.
An unseeded, at-large admission into the tournament, Wake Forest will enter the field of 48 for the 15th time in school history playing some of its best soccer of the season. The Demon Deacons earned back-to-back results against two consecutive top-10 opponents in Akron and Maryland, and closed the regular season on a 6-2-3 run. Overall, the Deacs hold an 8-7-4 overall record after going 4-3-1 and tying for third-place in the perennially tough ACC.
Despite a strong schedule and resume, Wake will not have the luxury of any home matches for the duration of its participation and faces future matches with 15th-seeded James Madison and, potentially, third-seeded UConn - provided the Deacs are able to get through USC in the first round.
The opening round pairing could have been a rematch, but instead will be the Demon Deacons' second trip to Columbia, S.C. this year after a regular season meeting between the two schools was called off due to lightning on September 21. The two schools will bring a combined 35 NCAA Tournament appearances into the match.
It will be the Demon Deacons' 10th trip to the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament in the past 11 seasons, where head coach Jay Vidovich's side had a dominant run from 2006-2009 - including a 2007 NCAA Championship and four consecutive College Cup appearances. That run was snapped last season when the Deacs were left out of the field for the first time in a decade, despite a third-place regular season finish in the ACC.
NCAA Tournament Parking And Ticket Information
Price - $8 for adults, $5 for youth (17 and under)
Ticket gates will open one hour prior to kick off (6 p.m.)
Parking for the NCAA Men's Soccer contest between South Carolina and Wake Forest will be free of charge in the Heyward Street parking garage.
Scouting The Gamecocks
The 2011 C-USA regular season champions, South Carolina enters Thursday's match with a 5-3-1 record at historic Stone Stadium.
C-USA First Teamer Bradlee Baladez, a sophomore forward, is the Gamecocks' leading scorer with seven goals and five assists on the year. He has received scoring help from a balanced offense which boasts 10 different players with a tally.
Freshman MF Braeden Troyer is second on the squad with five goals. Senior midfielder Stephen Morrissey, who made his first career start against the defending champion Demon Deacons in 2008, has four tallies. 13 different players have recorded an assist for USC.
Like the Deacons, USC has broken in a new goalkeeper after losing fouryear starter Jimmy Maurer to the professional ranks. Redshirt sophomore Alex Long has made 47 saves in his 18 starts with a 1.61 GAA.
For the year, the Gamecocks have been outscored 28-30, but have outshot their foes 243-237. South Carolina has played a tough slate in 2011 and sports a 2-1-1 overall record against ranked opponents.
Wake Forest leads the all-time series 14-12-4 and is 6-5-2 at Stone Stadium since the two teams first squared off in 1981. Since 2000, Wake holds a 6-3-1 advantage and has taken four-of-five meetings.
The two schools have met twice in the NCAA Tournament and have split the matches. The Deacs won the most recent meeting, 2-0, in 2005 to move to the second round.
With a win, Wake Forest will travel to James Madison to take on the 15th-seeded Dukes on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m.
Last Time Out
Two Luca Gimenez goals within 1:13 of each other forced extra soccer, but a Virginia goal with 20 seconds remaining in double overtime knocked the fifth-seeded Wake Forest men's soccer team out of the 2011 ACC Quarterfinals 4-3 on Tuesday, November 8 at Klockner Stadium.
Despite handing UVa a 4-3 regular season defeat on October 14 and staking an early 1-0 lead, the Cavaliers found three unanswered tallies in the second half. It took an incredible rally fueled by Gimenez's second career brace for Wake to force overtime.
Neither team secured many opportunities in the two extra periods, but Brian Span broke through for the Hoos in the 110th minute off a restart to send UVa to the ACC Quarterfinals.
Notes from the UVa Match
Luca Gimenez netted two goals for his second brace of the season and of his career.
Andy Lubahn recorded his second multi-point match of the season and moved into 11th place on the Deacs' all-time goal scorers list with 22.
Wake Forest went to double OT for the sixth time of the season and falls to 1-1-4 in those matches.
Virginia booted Wake Forest from the ACC Tournament for the fourth consecutive season.
Sean Okoli's four match goal streak was halted.
Virginia now leads the all-time series 35-8-6.
Let's Try This Again
Wake Forest and South Carolina were schedule for a Sept. 21 regular season meeting this year, but it was called off after a two hour, fifty minute delay on account of a major thunderstorm in the Columbia, S.C. area that night. This will be the Deacons' second road trip to Stone Stadium on the year.
These two teams are also familiar with each other in postseason play, having faced off twice before in the NCAA Tournament.
Both meetings, however, were home matches for the Deacs. Wake Forest took the most recent meeting at Spry Stadium, 2-0, in 2005 to move onto the second round, while the Gamecocks triumphed over Wake Forest 5-1 in a second round matchup on Nov. 19, 1989.
Back In Black... Road Uniforms?
Wake Forest is a definite stranger to opening the NCAA Tournament on the road. In 15 all-time appearances, the Deacons have never left the state of North Carolina.
In fact, the team has begun the tournament someplace other than Winston-Salem, N.C. just once before. That anomaly ocurred on Nov. 10, 1990 in Chapel Hill, N.C. in a 2-1 loss to UNC in the NCAA First Round.
It's So Good To Be Back
After one year out of the field of 48, the Deacons return to the NCAA Tournament in 2011. It will be the 15th all-time appearance in the tourney for Wake Forest and 10th in the past 11 years (2001-2009, 2011).
Coming Of Age Story
After four straight runs to the College Cup from 2006-09, the Wake Forest men's soccer team went through a bit of a rebuilding year in 2010 with one of the nation's youngest rosters featuring 19 freshman and sophomore contributors.
Now the newest wave of Demon Deacons will be getting their first taste of NCAA Tournament competition. All but four players on the 2011 roster have never seen action in an NCAA Tournament game.
The 2011 Demon Deacons have tied a program record with four double overtime ties (also ocurred in 1999, 2002, 2006) and have seen six matches enter overtime this season - the most for a Wake team since the 2006 season.
The Deacs are 1-1-4 in double OT matches this season.
Sophomore forward Luca Gimenez produced his second two goal match of the season on Nov. 8, helping the Deacons force overtime against Virginia in the ACC Tournament. He was named to the 2011 All-ACC Tournament Team for his efforts.
The Deacons' leading goal scorer with six, he recorded the first multi-goal match of his career in a 5-2 win over NC State on Oct. 22. The Sao Paulo, Brazil-native has a team-high 49 shots and 25 on goal in 2011. He has also registered two game-winners.
Junior Andy Lubahn scored the Deacons first goal and added an assist at UVa in the ACC Tournament to tie him for the team lead with 13 points (4g, 5a) for the season. He now stands 11th all-time in program history with 22 career goals.
Today In Deacon History - Nov. 17
Wake Forest has made just one appearance all-time on November 17, falling to No. 13 Furman 1-0 at home in the First Round of the 1991 NCAA Tournament.
The Early Goal Gets The `W'
Scoring first has been a sign of good things to come for the Deacs. Since 2003, when scoring the first goal, Wake Forest is 118-8-5 (.920). Conversely, when the opponent draws first blood, the Demon Deacons are 19-36-7 (.363).
In 2011, WFU is 7-1 when getting on the board first.
Defend Like A Demon
Wake Forest has surpassed its total of four shutouts from all of 2010 already this season, but is still nowhere near the program record of 15 - a mark set during the Deacs' run to an NCAA Championship in the 2007 season.
With five shutouts in 2011, the Deacs have now amassed 231 clean sheets in program history.
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