Wake Forest edges into second round
Goalkeeper Lisch guides Deacons in first NCAA PK since 2006
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Goalkeeper Michael Lisch ran for his life once, and then he did it again in jubilation as Wake Forest survived South Carolina in a 4-3 shootout after playing to a 1-1 draw in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Stone Stadium.
The junior goalkeeper came up big when it counted, blocking three Gamecock penalty kicks, and actually stopped the sixth attempt twice after J.P. Rafferty was granted a re-kick by the officials.
In their first NCAA tournament shootout since Dec. 2, 2006, the Deacons opened with a Danny Wenzel conversion to take a 1-0 lead and stayed even with South Carolina until 3-3. Both teams missed on their third and fifth attempts to set up a dramatic ending. Freshman Teddy Mullin nailed the ultimate match-decider on the Demon Deacons' sixth try on net.
Of course, this was all after both sides played 110 minutes of even soccer. After two overtime periods, the score remained knotted at 1-1.
Wake broke through for the first time in the opening stanza on a strike by sophomore midfielder Ross Tomaselli, who cleaned up a cross from Okoli and curled it in off the near post in the 10th minute.
The Deacs entered the locker room with a 6-3 advantage in shots, but were edged 5-2 in corners by South Carolina. The restarts caused a couple hairy moments in the box, but Lisch escaped the first half clean and was credited with two saves. He would finish the night with six stops over the full 110.
South Carolina, re-energized out of the half, went on the offensive early and earned a penalty kick on a hard tackle in the box at the 50:25 mark. Sophomore Chipper Root went far post to convert the attempt and make it a 1-1 match.
With 10 minutes left in regulation, the Deacs were presented with a free kick inside the box and could not convert after several header tries. Junior Anthony Arena had the final lunge, but it sailed high.
Just a minute later, Lubahn broke through the backline on a juggled ball and fired a missile that caromed off the cross bar.
Three cards were also handed out during a physical second half, including an ejection to USC assistant coach Bert Molinary.
After concluding regulation play at a 1-1 impasse, the Deacs headed to overtime for the seventh time this season. Wake was outshot 6-2 during the extra frames, but held firm on defense to go to penalty kicks for the first time since the 2009 ACC tournament.