Nov. 22, 2009

Courtesy of Wake Forest

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Austin da Luz and Anthony Arena staked No. 2 Wake Forest to a 2-0 lead and the Demon Deacons held off a late rally by No. 18 UNC-Wilmington to claim a 2-1 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday evening at Spry Stadium.

"I thought it was a great second round game," head coach Jay Vidovich said. "UNC-Wilmington gave us a heck of a contest. Hats off to them and their performance. I'm very proud of my guys and their performance to get the result. I just see them getting better each game."

With the victory, Wake Forest improves to 15-3-3, while UNC-Wilmington closes its season with a 14-3-5 record.

The Demon Deacons advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament where they will face ACC-foe Duke. The Blue Devils won at Michigan State, 2-0, on Sunday. Wake and Duke will square off on Sunday, November 29, at 5 p.m. (ET) at Spry Stadium.

The Deacs improve to 18-10-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 7-4-0 in the second round. Wake Forest is unbeaten in 13 of its last 14 NCAA Tournament matches.

Wake Forest appeared to have Sunday's game well in hand after da Luz gave the team a lead with a 35th minute goal and Arena doubled the lead with a score in the 76th minute. However, UNCW made things interesting late as Shawn Guderian scored in the 86th minute. Wake Forest was able to recover and didn't allow a shot for the Seahawks over the final five minutes.

Da Luz increased his point total on the season to 22, which ranks second on the team. The goal for the senior midfielder was his fifth of the season.

Arena scored for the third time in his freshman season. All three goals in his rookie year have been game-winning goals.

Corben Bone and Zack Schilawski each added assists in the game. The assist for Bone was his 11th of the season and the 36th of his career, tying him for the school record with da Luz. Schilawski notched his sixth assist of the season and increased his point total to a team-leading 28 points.

Senior goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald earned his 15th victory in goal on the season. Fitzgerald made one save and allowed the one UNCW goal. Brock Duckworth received the loss for the Seahawks, stopping seven shots and giving up two goals.

Guderian scored his fifth goal of the season for UNC-Wilmington, tying him for the team lead. Daniel Roberts was credited with his fifth assist of the season on the play.

Wake Forest finished the game with a 14-6 advantage in shots, including a 9-2 edge in shots on goal. The Deacs attempted seven corner kicks, compared to two for the Seahawks.

Each team was able to manage a shot in goal in the opening 10 minutes. Da Luz had Wake's shot, which was saved by the UNCW keeper, while Nassim Berhouni had a shot on frame that was saved by Fitzgerald.

Wake's Sam Redmond had the first quality chance of the match 17 minutes into the game. Redmond's shot from 20 yards out in the center of the field required a diving save from Duckworth to keep the game scoreless.

UNCW had its first good scoring opportunity in the 32nd minute. Off a long throw in, Christian Davidson had a header from the left side of the six-yard box that just went wide of the right post.

Wake Forest jumped on top with a goal from da Luz in the 35th minute. Schilawski made a great individual effort to keep the play alive and kick the ball out to da Luz on the left side of the 18-yard box. Da Luz struck a beautiful curling kick that snuck inside the right post to give the Deacs a 1-0 lead entering the half.

Luke Norman nearly gave Wake a two-goal lead in the 53rd minute. Kyle Adams played a cross from the left side and Norman's header from seven yards out went right to Duckworth for the save.

Wake continued the pressure in the 57th minute. Da Luz sent in a cross from the left side that Opara headed for the far post. However, Duckworth was able to make a great diving save to keep the ball out of the net.

The Demon Deacons had another opportunity in the 63rd minute. Da Luz had a shot from 20 yards out in the center of the field that went just wide of the left post.

UNC-Wilmington had a great chance to equalize in the 65th minute. A long throw in was headed to Kirk Hudgins just outside the six-yard box. Hudgins shot sailed just high of the cross bar to keep the Seahawks off the scoreboard.

Wake Forest came back as Adams nearly doubled the Demon Deacon advantage. Ike Opara played a pass up field to da Luz. Da Luz played a pass to the left side of the field to Adams. Adams attempted to chip a shot over the head of Duckworth, but he made a leaping save, sending the ball over the cross bar.

The Demon Deacons finally got its second goal in the 76th minute. Bone sent a corner kick to the far post and found Arena, who headed the ball inside the right post to put Wake in front 2-0.

UNCW was able to get a goal back with five minutes left. Roberts played a pass up the middle of the field to Guderian. Guderian was able to get his shot past a charging Fitzgerald to cut Wake's advantage to 2-1.

The Seahawks were unable to manage another shot attempt in the final five minutes as Wake Forest did a good job of playing possession soccer, keeping the ball away from UNCW.