Wake Forest Women's Soccer Announces 2012 Schedule
March 21, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest women's soccer team has announced its 2012 schedule, which features eight games against teams that finished the 2011 season ranked in the top 25. The 19-game slate includes nine fixtures against teams that made the NCAA Tournament last season, including seven of last year's Sweet 16.
The Demon Deacons, who are expected to return all 11 starters from last year's squad that advanced to the program's first College Cup, will play nine regular-season matches at Spry Stadium, highlighted by matchups with North Carolina, Boston College, Maryland and Illinois, which all finished last year in the national rankings.
"I think the fans are definitely going to enjoy seeing such quality teams at home," said head coach Tony da Luz. "I feel like our team is an older team, and they should be pretty well in-tune with what's required in the ACC. A big goal for us is to do well in the ACC regular season and put ourselves in a good position for the postseason. It's going to be an exciting year, and I'm really looking forward to it."
As it did last year, the Wake Forest will hit the road early in the season, playing five of its first six games away from Spry Stadium. Last season, the Demon Deacons went 6-0 in road and neutral site games during the non-conference season, a mark that contributed to them earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
This year, the Deacs will open in a tournament hosted by Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., facing Richmond on Aug. 17 and UNC Wilmington on Aug. 19. After a home match against UNC Greensboro on Aug. 24, Wake Forest will make the short trip to play Charlotte on August 26 before heading north to Princeton, N.J. to take on Princeton on Aug. 31 and Hofstra on Sept. 2.
"It helps our team bonding to spend a lot of time together on the road. I think that trip to Princeton to play two very good teams in Princeton and Hofstra is going to be a good trip for us," said da Luz. "It's the hometown for Jackie Logue and close to some of the other players' homes up there, so we should have a pretty good fan base.
"We're playing another challenging out-of-conference schedule that's going to help us. We're playing teams that are going to be in the NCAA Tournament and are strong in their own conferences, so it's good preparation for the postseason."
The Demon Deacons will open their challenging ACC slate in mid-September with two-match swing through the Sunshine State. Wake Forest will play at Miami on Sept. 13 before facing Florida State on Sept. 16. The Deacons defeated both teams in the regular season in 2011, but fell to the Seminoles in a penalty kick shootout in the 2011 ACC Championship Match.
"Both of those games are going to be tough. Florida State is the defending ACC Champion and Miami is a program that is making great strides," said da Luz. "There is going to be a lot of heat down there in Florida as well, and taking everything into consideration, I think that that is becoming one of the toughest road trips in the conference. It's going to be a critical trip for us to get a good jump on the ACC season."
Wake Forest will play its first home conference game on Sept. 20 against Boston College, which it defeated in the quarterfinals of the 2011 ACC Championship.
The remainder of Wake Forest's conference home games will come against Maryland (Sept. 23), Clemson (Sept. 30), NC State (Oct. 18) and North Carolina (Oct. 21). The Demon Deacons will take a break from ACC play on Oct. 7 for a home date with Kansas. The Deacs will also play ACC road matches against Virginia (Oct. 6), Duke (Oct. 14) and Virginia Tech (Oct. 25).
The ACC Championship will begin on Oct. 28 with the top four finishers in the conference standings hosting the next four in the quarterfinals. The semifinals (Nov. 2) and final (Nov. 4) will once again be held in Cary, N.C.
NCAA Tournament play begins on Nov. 9 with the College Cup set for Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 in San Diego, Calif.