No. 15 Wake Forest Prepares for Weekend Action
Aug. 28, 2008
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The No. 15 Wake Forest women's soccer team hits the road for the first time in 2008 on Friday, traveling to Florence, S.C. to face Francis Marion at 4 p.m. (ET). The Deacons return home on Sunday to meet UNC-Wilmington at 1 p.m. (ET).
"It'll be an adjustment for us going down to Francis Marion the day of the game," head coach Tony da Luz said. "We'll see how we respond to that. After that, we have a quick turnaround and play UNC-Wilmington on Sunday. It will be a tough weekend for us."
The Deacons opened the season in thrilling fashion with a 2-1 overtime victory over Utah. Junior forward Allie Sadow scored in the eighth minute of the first overtime to lift Wake Forest to victory. Senior midfielder Amy Smerdzinski recorded the assist, playing a perfect ball to Sadow.
Francis Marion enters Friday's match with a 0-2 record. The Pioneers opened the season with a 3-2 overtime set back at Charleston Southern. FMU dropped its home opener to East Carolina, falling 2-0. Francis Marion has been strong at home, posting an 11-1-3 home record in its last 15 matches and an all-time home record of 88-17-5.
"They have a really good coach who does a good job of organizing their team," da Luz said. "I'm sure tactically they'll be ready to try and counteract what we do. I expect a team that will be defensive, but well organized. It will take a lot for us to break them down."
Wake Forest and Francis Marion will be meeting for the first time.
UNC-Wilmington is 0-1-1 to open the season. The Seahawks played South Carolina to a scoreless tie in the season opener, before dropping a 3-2 decision at Charlotte. Senior goalkeeper Emily Pratt was named to the Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week last week, after posting 11 saves in UNC-Wilmington's tie with South Carolina.
"UNC-Wilmington is a dangerous team," da Luz said. "They always come to play and come with a lot of energy. They're very well motivated. They have some speed up front and out wide. If we're not prepared, we could get surprised, so we have to be on our game."
The Deacons and Seahawks have met three times, with Wake Forest winning each match. The two teams last met in 2006 with Wake Forest claiming a 4-0 victory. Live stats for Sunday's match, along with a recap and box score from both weekend matches, will be available on wakeforestsports.com.