Deacs to Host GA Southern in NCAA Championship Opener
Nov. 5, 2012
By Alex Botoman, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@SIDeacons)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest women's soccer team earned a No. 3 seed in the 2012 NCAA Championship and will host Georgia Southern in a first round match on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Spry Stadium.
"We're honored to represent the ACC again in the NCAA Tournament," said head coach Tony da Luz. "Georgia Southern just won their Southern Conference tournament, so we have to respect that championship and prepare just like we do for every other team."
Tickets for the match are available for seven dollars, while students, youths and seniors will be admitted for three dollars. They can be purchased in advance by calling the Wake Forest ticket office at (336) 758-3322 and will also be available at the Spry Stadium box office on the day of the game.
Wake Forest has now earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the 16th consecutive year - the sixth-longest streak in the country and third-longest in the ACC behind North Carolina (31) and Virginia (19). The Demon Deacons are one of the tournament's 16 national seeds for the seventh year running, one of only four teams along with North Carolina, Florida State, and Florida to earn a seed in every tournament since 2006.
Wake Forest is 10-2-0 at Spry Stadium in NCAA Championship games.
Other seeds in Wake Forest's quarter of the bracket are No. 2 seed Florida, No. 1 seed Florida State and No. 4 seed Ohio State. Should the Demon Deacons and Gators both win their first round matches, the Deacs would travel to Gainesville, Fla. for the second and third rounds.
Last year, the Demon Deacons earned a No. 1 seed in the tournament and played up to their seeding, reaching the NCAA College Cup for the first time before falling to Duke in the semifinals. This year's quest for the College Cup has special meaning for head coach Tony da Luz as it will be held at the University of San Diego, where he played and started his coaching career.
Wake Forest enters the NCAA Championship coming off of a semifinal appearance in the ACC Championship. The Demon Deacons finished with a 6-3-1 ACC record, good for a tie for second place in the conference standings that equaled their best-ever ACC finish.
First team All-ACC performer Katie Stengel has led the Demon Deacons with seven goals and 17 points in 13 games since returning from winning the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Japan as a member of the U.S. team. Stengel broke Wake Forest's all-time scoring marks this season, sitting first in the Demon Deacon record books with 42 career goals and 100 career points.
Fellow All-ACC performer Aubrey Bledsoe has been strong in goal for Wake Forest, keeping seven shutouts and holding a 0.83 goals against average.
Georgia Southern earned the Southern Conference's automatic bid by making a Cinderella run through the SoCon Tournament as the No. 8 seed. Wake Forest and Georgia Southern have met only once before, a match that Wake Forest won at home in 2002.
Nine ACC teams earned bids to the NCAA tournament this year, equaling the record that was set last season.