Nov. 6, 2009

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Three different Wake Forest players scored goals as the fourth-ranked Demon Deacons clinched a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title with a 3-0 win against No. 11 Duke on Friday night in front of 3,109 fans at Spry Stadium.

"With the number of players that we lost, we've grown to be a good team, found ways to win and we just keep getting better," head coach Jay Vidovich said. "I'm very proud of our performance."

With the win, Wake Forest improves to 13-3-2 on the season and 5-2-1 in ACC play. Duke is now 12-5-0 and 4-4-0 in league play.

The Demon Deacons, who were picked fourth in the ACC's preseason poll, earned a share of the conference's regular season title with North Carolina. The regular season championship is the second consecutive for Wake Forest and the sixth in program history.

Wake will open play at the conference tournament on Wednesday, November 11, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. The official bracket with game times will be released by the conference office on Monday.

Six Wake Forest seniors played their final regular season home game at Spry Stadium on Friday. The senior class of Austin Chelko, Nick Courtney, Austin da Luz, Akira Fitzgerald, Justin Lichtfuss and Zack Schilawski earned the 74th win of their collegiate careers, tying the 2008 senior class as the winningest senior class in program history. Over the last four years, the 2009 seniors have compiled a record of 74-10-9.

Wake grabbed an early lead in the game on a goal from Andy Lubahn in the 14th minute. The Deacs doubled the lead on Schilawski's 11th goal of the season in the 52nd minute. Chris Estridge closed the scoring with a goal in the 73rd minute.

Schilawski, who leads the ACC in goals and points, scored for the 11th time in his senior season and upped his point total to 26. He also found the back of the net for the 37th time in his career, moving him into third in school history.

Lubahn netted the seventh goal of his rookie season and increased his point total to 14. With the goal, Lubahn ranks in a tie for fourth in school history in goals by a freshman.

Estridge closed the scoring with his second goal of his sophomore season.

Lichtfuss, Ike Opara and Corben Bone each added assists in the victory. The helper for Bone was the 34th of his career, which ranks second in school history, one behind his teammate, da Luz.

A pair of seniors combined for the shutout in the Wake Forest goal. Fitzgerald played the first 83:30 of the game, making four saves, while Chelko handled the final 6:30 and was not forced to make a save.

For Duke, freshman Ryan Finley led the way with a team-high three shots, including two shots on goal. Cole Grossman added two shots for the Blue Devils.

James Belshaw allowed three goals for Duke and made five saves.

Wake Forest controlled the game from the opening whistle, holding a 19-9 advantage in shots, including an 8-4 edge in shots on goal. The Demon Deacons had six corner kicks, compared to two for the Blue Devils.

Neither team was able to mount much offensive pressure in the opening 10 minutes. Wake Forest was able to generate a couple of corner kicks, but was unable to get any shots off the corners.

The first shot of the game came in the 12th minute off the foot of Schilawski. His attempt from 13 yards out on the right side of the 18 slid just wide of the left post.

Wake Forest grabbed the lead on Lubahn's goal in the 14th minute. Opara played a pass over the top of the Duke defense and found Lichtfuss on the right side near the end line. Lichtfuss played a cross in to Lubahn on the left side of the six. Lubahn's shot was deflected in by a Duke player to give Wake a 1-0 lead.

Duke came right back and had its first shot attempt of the game 28 seconds after the Wake goal. Finley had a shot from the left side of the 18 that required a diving save from Fitzgerald.

The Blue Devils had one of their better chances of the first half in the 25th minute. Temi Molinar played a cross from the left side and found the head of Finley, who had an open net right in front. Finley's header went high of the goal to keep Duke off the scoreboard.

Wake Forest nearly doubled the lead in the 31st minute. Bone played a free kick into the penalty area. Schilawski back-heeled a pass to Lubahn 12 yards out. Lubahn had an open look at goal, but sent his shot just wide left.

Duke had another scoring chance in the 38th minute. Grossman's free kick from the right side of the field 25 yards out found Christian Ibeagha on the right side of the penalty area. Ibeagha headed the ball just left of the far post to keep the score at 1-0 entering the half.

The Demon Deacons came out of the locker room in the second half and applied immediate pressure, resulting in a goal seven minutes into the second period. Sam Redmond played a nice pass to Schilawski inside the 18-yard box. Schilawski's first shot bounced off the left post. However, he collected the rebound and fired a shot into an open net to make the score 2-0.

Da Luz nearly put Wake in front 3-0 in the 54th minute. Da Luz had a shot from 28 yards out in the center of the field that Belshaw pushed over the crossbar for a corner kick.

Wake Forest closed the scoring on the goal from Estridge in the 73rd minute. Bone played a through ball and found Estridge on the left side of the 18-yard box. Estridge's shot from 12 yards out was tucked inside the right post to give the Deacs a 3-0 edge.

The Blue Devils were only able to manage two shots for the rest of the game as Wake held on for the 3-0 win and clinched a share of the ACC regular season title.

Wake Forest opens postseason play on Wednesday at the ACC Tournament at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Stay tuned to WakeForestSports.com for updates on Wake's first opponent and game time.