Nov. 13, 2009

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Junior midfielder Casey Luckhurst scored the first two goals of her collegiate career to lead No. 14 Wake Forest to a 2-0 win against Kennesaw State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday evening at Spry Stadium.

"Our kids performed great tonight," head coach Tony da Luz said. "We put the game away early and were in total control. That's all that matters."

Wake Forest improves to 14-5-2 on the season, while Kennesaw State's season comes to an end with an 11-7-0 mark.

The Demon Deacons advance to face West Virginia in the second round on Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET). The Mountaineers defeated Loyola (Md.) 2-0 on Friday afternoon.

Playing in her 47th career game, Luckhurst found the back of the net for the first two times as a Demon Deacon. She staked Wake Forest to an early advantage with a goal in the third minute and then doubled the margin with her second tally in the 15th minute.

"Casey gave us some energy with the two goals getting into the box," da Luz said. "It was a great cross by Allie at the beginning. I thought the early goal gave us a lift."

Allie Sadow and Kaley Fountain provided assists on the night. Sadow notched her sixth assist of the season on Luckhurst's first goal, while Fountain added her ninth helper on the second Luckhurst goal.

Amanda Barasha and Laura Morse combined for the shutout in goal. Barasha started and played the first 77 minutes, making two saves. Morse, who has been battling injury, made her first appearance in goal since the North Carolina game, playing 13 minutes, while not being forced to make a save.

Wake Forest recorded its 13th shutout of the season on Friday night, breaking the previous school record of 12 clean sheets in a season, set in 1999 and 2006.

"I think it's a reflection of the whole team's commitment to defending, from the forwards to the midfield to the backs to the goalkeeper," da Luz said. "We're really taking a lot of pride in shutouts and reducing the number of opportunities for other teams. Our back line has done a fantastic job. I think it's an underrated back line."

Caitlin Dingle led the offense for Kennesaw State, taking two shots, both of which were on frame.

Staci Pugh and Melissa Hutto split time in goal for the Owls. Pugh played the first 81:49 and allowed two goals, while making four saves. Hutto played the final 8:11 and did not allow a goal.

Wake Forest wasted little time in attacking as Luckhurst gave the Deacs a 1-0 lead with a goal in the third minute. Sadow played a cross from the right side and found Luckhurst running toward the middle of the six-yard box. Luckhurst one-timed a shot into the left side of the net to make the score 1-0.

Kennesaw State had its first shot on goal in the 11th minute, an attempt from Dingle in the middle of the field that was easily saved by Barasha.

Wake Forest doubled its lead in the 15th minute on Luckhurst's second goal of the game. Fountain had a header shot from in front of the goal that Pugh made a great save on. The rebound came back to Fountain, who played a pass into the six-yard box. Luckhurst was there and scored from point-blank range to make the score 2-0.

Sarah Winslow had a pair of near misses later in the half, sending shots wide in the 18th and 21st minutes.

Wake Forest had another good scoring chance with seven minutes remaining in the first half. Marisa Park fired a shot from 20 yards out in the middle of the field and Pugh made a diving save. The rebound off the shot came to Fountain and she hit a shot just wide right of the goal.

Kennesaw State had its best chance of the game in the 77th minute. Dingle fired a shot from the far right and Barasha made a diving save at the near post to keep the shutout intact.

Wake came right back and almost tallied its third goal in the 78th minute. Bianca D'Agostino played a cross from the left and found Fountain making a run down the middle of the pitch. Fountain's shot from the top of the six-yard box hit off the crossbar and went over the goal.

The Demon Deacons are back in action on Sunday, hosting West Virginia at 1 p.m. in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.