Kozniuk's Blast Gives No. 13 Deacons 2-1 Win over Michigan

Aug. 26, 2012

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By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Media Relations (@SIDeacons)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Sophomore Anna Kozniuk fired a blistering shot into the back of the cage to seal a 2-1 victory over No. 10 Michigan on the final day of the ACC/Big Ten Field Hockey Challenge at Kentner Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Kozniuk, a 2011 third-team All-American and the reigning ACC Freshman of the Year, broke free at the top of the circle with just 1:17 remaining in the game and launched a laser past Michigan goalkeeper Haley Jones. The goal ensured the Deacs of their first win over a top-10 team since defeating then-No. 10 Duke on September 11, 2010, in a stroke-off.

With the win, Wake Forest improves to 1-1 while the Wolverines fall to 0-2 after falling to No. 2 North Carolina on Saturday.

Michigan threatened early, earning three penalty corners and launching two shots, including one on goal, in the first seven minutes of play. On the first corner, Leslie Smith inserted to Rachael Mack who fired toward the goal, but her attempt sailed just above the crossbar. Nothing arose from the second corner, but the third produced an excellent attempt on goal by Lauren Thomas. Kaitlyn Ruhf turned away the attempt and the Wolverine offensive attack subsided.

The Wolverines went on the offensive once again about ten minutes later, peppering Ruhf with two shots on goal in a span of four minutes. Rachael Mack and Michelle Roberts each got off a shot, but Ruhf stonewalled the attack once again.

Wake Forest finally mustered some offensive strength toward the end of the half. Krysta Wangerin launched a shot that was just a bit too high in the 31st minute, and Kali Vicars had a great attempt of her own just one minute later. The freshman had an open angle for her shot, but Michigan's Jones made a great save to keep the score knotted at 0-0.

With just 19 seconds to go in the half, though, Michigan finally broke through on a goal from Michelle Roberts. Leslie Smith fired a penalty corner into the circle which Lauren Thomas launched toward the goal, but Roberts picked up the deflection on the shot and found the back of the cage to give Michigan a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.

The Deacons refused to go away in the second half, however. Junior Taylor Rhea fired a shot on Jones in the 49th minute, then collected her own rebound and fired again. Jones managed saves on both shots, but was not as fortunate on the next attempt she faced. Kari Walkley forced the ball into the circle and sophomore Tyra Clemmenson, on her first collegiate shot, fired the deflection into the goal to bring Wake Forest back into a tie, 1-1.

Heading into the last 10 minutes, a decisive goal by the Deacs seemed almost inevitable. Jones was forced into four saves, and another shot by Wangerin was blocked by a defender. The Deacons forced the Michigan defense on its heels and ultimately toppled the Wolverines on a blast by Kozniuk at the 68:43 mark. She charged into the circle and around one defender before finding a clear lane to shoot and then took full advantage, rocketing her shot past Jones to push the Demon Deacons to victory.

Wake Forest will return to action next Sunday, Sept. 2, as they take on the No. 4 Princeton Tigers in a 1:00 p.m. clash at Kentner Stadium. The Deacons defeated the Tigers 3-2 on a game-winning overtime goal by Kozniuk last season. Next Sunday's meeting will be the third in series history, with each side claiming one win apiece.



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