No. 19 Wake Forest Shuts Out Clemson 1-0
Oct. 20, 2013
By Alex Botoman, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeWSoccer)
CLEMSON, S.C. - Riley Ridgik's 52nd-minute goal held up as No. 19 Wake Forest used a strong defensive effort to shut out Clemson 1-0 on Sunday at Historic Riggs Field in Clemson S.C.
Ridgik struck off of an assist from Berry and Aubrey Bledsoe made seven saves in net to earn the shutout as the Demon Deacons (9-4-2, 4-2-2) picked up their first win since learning a week ago that star forward Katie Stengel would likely miss the remainder of the season.
"Clemson has been so good - they are so much improved in the ACC - and defensively we knew it was going to be a really tight game," said head coach Tony da Luz. "On the road with kind of our new team and our new system, I thought we played really well and really ground out a win. I'm super proud of the kids."
Ridgik's goal was her seventh of the season. The former defensive midfield turned attacking midfielder and now forward was consistently Wake Forest's most dangerous player on the pitch, leading the Demon Deacons with four shots.
"What a great goal by Riley," said da Luz. "She's just a soccer player. She doesn't care where she plays, she just wants to play the game. She has really great instincts around the goal, and now she is taking the responsibility of being a new captain and the new responsibility of scoring goals and creating goals."
Aubrey Bledsoe made seven saves in goal to keep her sixth shutout of the season. She now has 31 clean sheets in her career, tied for the seventh-most in ACC history.
Berry has continued to chip in on the offensive end, notching an assist for the second game in a row to give her four for the season, to go with her three goals.
With the win, the Deacons move into a tie with the Tigers for sixth place in the ACC with three games remaining in the regular season, looking to hold onto a top-eight slot that will give them a berth in the ACC Championship.
The Tigers came close in the first half as Kylie Tawney put a shot off the cross bar after Bledsoe was caught out of her net on a free kick. Wake Forest's best chance came in the final minutes of the half as Caralee Keppler led a counterattack, crossing to Ridgik in front of goal, and while it looked like Ridgik was pulled down in the box, there was no call.
The Deacons took the lead in the 52nd minute. Ally Berry played an incisive through ball to send Ridgik behind the defense, and Ridgik finished well to make the score 1-0 in Wake Forest's favor.
The Tigers pressed for the equalizer, sending a number of crosses into the Wake Forest box, but the Deacons dealt with them well to maintain the shutout.
Wake Forest will return home to take on Pittsburgh on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Spry Stadium before hosting rival North Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m.