Nuzzolese and Stengel Named TopDrawerSoccer National Co-Players of the Week
Sept. 27, 2010
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest freshman forwards Rachel Nuzzolese and Katie Stengel were named National Co-Players of the Week by TopDrawerSoccer for their performances against No. 14 Duke and Clemson last week in Demon Deacons' first Atlantic Coast Conference games of the season. Nuzzolese was also named one of CollegeSoccer360.com's Primetime Performers of the Week.
Nuzzolese scored both Wake Forest goals in the Deacons' 2-1 win over the Blue Devils in Durham, N.C. last Thursday, with both scores coming on direct free kicks. Her first goal of the game came in the 25th minute when she took a free kick on the left from so sharp of an angle that the Duke players lined up as if they were defending a corner kick, and managed to sneak it into the top-right corner to give the Deacons a 1-0 lead. After Duke had tied the game at 1-1, Nuzzolese drew another free kick 23 yards from goal and hit a strike that deflected off of the top of the Blue Devil wall and went just under the cross bar for Wake Forest's game-winning goal. It was the first time that the Deacons had ever beaten the Blue Devils on the road.
Against Clemson, Stengel put together a six-point game by scoring two goals and earning two assists, the most points in a match for a Wake player since 2008. Nuzzolese also had a multi-point game, scoring the game-winning goal and earning an assist.
A two-on-one with Stengel and Nuzzolese produced Wake Forest's first goal against the Tigers, as Stengel dribbled towards the Clemson net and forced the goalkeeper to charge, before passing to Nuzzolese who finished the ball into the vacant net. Both freshmen assisted on the Deacons' second goal when a pass across the top of the box from Stengel was touched by Nuzzolese to Casey Luckhurst, who put a hard shot from 18 yards into the net.
Stengel scored her first of two goals on a penalty kick in the 49th minute, before finding the net for the second time in 65th minute when she sprinted past the Clemson defenders and onto a through ball from Kristen Meier, placing a shot past the charging goalie for Wake Forest's final goal of the match.
Nuzzolese and Stengel have established themselves as two of the premiere players in the country this season. The freshmen are tied for the ACC lead with nine goals each, with Nuzzolese ranking second in the league with 23 points and Stengel in third with 21 points.
This week's honor was the latest in a series of awards for both players. Stengel was named the ACC Player of the Week for the period of Aug. 30 - Sept. 5 and was also named to the TopDrawerSoccer team of the week for the same period. Nuzzolese was named one of CollegeSoccer360.com's Primetime Performers of the Week for the week of Aug. 30 - Sept. 5. Both players were also named to the ACC/SEC Challenge All-Tournament Team earlier in the season.
Wake Forest currently holds a 8-3-0 overall record, including a perfect 2-0-0 in ACC play, it's first 2-0-0 league start since 2001. The Demon Deacons will be back in action on Thurday, Sept. 30 when they travel to Tallahassee, Fla. to take on No. 13 Florida State.