Bledsoe Breaks Record as No. 7 Deacs Top 49ers
Aug. 26, 2012
By Alex Botoman, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@SIDeacons)
CHARLOTTE - Freshman Taylor Waters scored the first goal of her career and Aubrey Bledsoe made one save to earn her record-breaking 19th career shutout as No. 7 Wake Forest took down Charlotte 2-0 on Sunday at Transamerica Field.
Bledsoe's 19th clean sheet took her past Erin Regan, who kept 18 shutouts from 1998-02, on the Wake Forest career charts. The junior has started all 54 games for the Demon Deacons in net since arriving on campus as a freshman.
"I was lucky to come in here as a freshman and have Tony (da Luz) and the coaching staff have confidence in me to step in," said Bledsoe. "It just shows what a great defense we have and what a great team this is."
Jackie McSally opened the scoring for the Demon Deacons (2-1-1) in the 30th minute, cleaning up the rebound of a Ally Berry shot, and Waters tacked on an insurance goal in the 84th minute with a clinical finish after a beautiful cross from Kristen Meier that was set up by an Alisha Woodson throw-in. Berry's assist was her third of the year, already equaling her previous single-season high.
Bledsoe's lone save of the match was a beauty in the first half as she came off her line to stop Charlotte's Carrie Dail who was in on a clean breakaway.
"They slipped a ball in past our defenders and the girl had a breakaway'" said Bledsoe. "I just came out, made the save and kept us in it."
Wake Forest dominated its in-state foe from the start, outshooting Charlotte (2-1-0) 20-3 and holding a 13-4 advantage in corner kicks. 49ers goalkeeper Annika McHenry made seven saves in a losing effort.
The Deacons came close to getting on the scoreboard in the 11th minute as Dry took a Marisa Park pass out wide to the right before sliding a ball across the box that found Nuzzolese, but Nuzzolese's open shot from 12 yards was well-saved by Annika McHenry.
Bledsoe came up huge for the Demon Deacons in the 23rd minute. Carrie Dail was the recipient of a perfect pass that sent her on a breakaway towards goal, but Bledsoe charged off her line and made a diving save on Dail's shot.
Wake Forest took the lead in the 30th minute by scoring on one of its seven first-half corner kicks. Waters played the ball into the box to Berry who cracked a shot from eight yards, but it was blocked by a host of Charlotte defenders. The rebound fell to Jackie McSally, who cleaned up the mess from close range, finding the back of the net to put the Demon Deacons in front.
Riley Ridgik looked to have scored yet another corner kick goal for the Deacons in the 55th minute, but a foul was called against Wake Forest during the play, negating the score.
Berry had an opportunity to extend in the 67th minute as she tried to volley a bouncing cross by Marisa Park in front of goal, but her attempt went high. McSally came inches away from putting her name on the scoresheet again only seconds later as she got the side of her foot on a Nuzzolese corner but put the shot off of the far post.
The Deacons continued to threaten off of set pieces and again came close to scoring in the 74th minute when AWoodson had a free header from eight yards off of a long Nuzzolese free kick but steered the shot just wide of the left post.
Wake Forest finally got the insurance goal it had been searching for in the 84th minute. Woodson threw the ball in to Meier who did well to hold possession at the end line before laying the ball back to Waters. The freshman from Mooresville, N.C. blasted a shot past the keeper to extend the Demon Deacon advantage to 2-0.
The Demon Deacons will take their final non-conference road trip of the season next weekend when they travel to Princeton, N.J. to take on Princeton on Aug. 31 and Hofstra on Sept. 2.