Park's OT Winner Sends Deacons to Semifinals
Oct. 28, 2012
By Alex Botoman, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@SIDeacons)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Marisa Park scored just 52 seconds into overtime to keep Wake Forest alive in the 2012 ACC Championship, handing the third-seeded Demon Deacons a 1-0 win over sixth-seeded Duke on Sunday at Spry Stadium in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Park's goal was set up by Katie Stengel who took on a number of Blue Devil defenders before throwing a cross in front of net. The ball bounced over the foot of Duke's Mollie Pathman and fell to Park who made no mistake with the finish from in close to give the Deacons (13-4-3) the victory.
"Katie made a great run," said Park. "I was just in the right place at the right time."
"You can't count us out," said head coach Tony da Luz. "Our team has a tough mentality."
Wake Forest will take on second-seeded Maryland on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. in a match that will be broadcast on ESPN3.
The Demon Deacons are the only team to have advanced to the semifinals of the tournament the past three seasons and are seeking their third straight trip to the final. Wake Forest took down Maryland in a shootout to win the 2010 ACC Championship and fell in a penalty kick shootout to Florida State in the 2011 final.
It looked like the Demon Deacons wouldn't need overtime to earn the win as they created the best regulation chance for either team with just seconds remaining in the second half. Lee Page's shot from point-blank range was stopped by Duke's Tara Campbell as the horn sounded on the period.
Park's game-winning goal at 90:52 was the fastest overtime goal for Wake Forest in school history.
Wake Forest's all-time shutout leader Aubrey Bledsoe made a season-high six saves in net to post her seventh clean sheet of the season.
The two teams played a tight first half with only one good chance apiece. In the 12th minute, Laura Weinberg launched a shot from outside that Bledsoe had to tip over the bar. Stengel came close to scoring in the 40th minute when she took on the entire Duke defense on a counterattack, turned a defender at the top of the box and blasted a left-footed shot that curled just wide.
Wake Forest looked to have had the game won with only seconds remaining in regulation. Stengel made a run down the right and centered the ball to Ally Berry. Berry played a pass into a scramble in front of net, and the ball popped to Lee Page, who was all alone inside the six-yard box, but her last-second shot was stopped by a diving Campbell.
For information on Friday's semifinal, including ticket information and directions to WakeMed Soccer Park, check the ACC's championship information page.