No. 13 Wake Forest drops No. 10 North Carolina for first win at Fetzer Field
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Head coach Tony da Luz implored his players to make Oct. 21, 2012 a day to remember.
The 13th-ranked Demon Deacons answered the call, defeating No. 10 North Carolina 2-1 Sunday to earn their first win against the Tar Heels at Fetzer Field.
"We've played a lot of games here, and we'd never won here," head coach Tony da Luz said. "In the first half, I thought we were the better team and deserved to be up. Once we got the second ball, our kids defended like crazy, UNC threw everything forward but I think our defense was really rock solid."
The Deacons (12-3-3, 6-2-1 ACC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a first-half goal by Katie Stengel and a score right after the break by Annick McBryar. Summer Green pulled a goal back for the Tar Heels (9-4-2, 5-3-1 ACC) in the 60th minute, but the Wake Forest defense held strong down the stretch to close out the win.
With the win, the Demon Deacons clinched a top-four finish in the ACC, securing home-field advantage for the opening round of the ACC Championship, which begins next Sunday, Oct. 28.
"We always have a great showing at Spry [Stadium]," said McBryar. "Hopefully it will give us a good start in the tournament."
Wake Forest is now unbeaten in its last three matches against North Carolina after earning only one result in the previous 26 meetings.
Stengel's score in the 25th minute was the product of a brilliant long through ball by Kristen Meier which the junior forward followed up with a classy left-footed finish across her body.
McBryar's corner-kick goal, which went into the books as the game-winner, was the first of her Wake Forest career.
"We worked on it a lot in practice," said McBryar. "It was just there at my foot and in the back of the net a second later."
After absorbing early pressure from North Carolina, the Demon Deacons took the lead in the 25th minute. Riley Ridgik won the ball in the midfield and passed to Meier who played a long through ball on the ground that sent Stengel in behind the defense. Stengel turned on the jets to keep free of the defenders and then cracked a shot that found the inside of the far post, putting the Demon Deacons in the lead.
The Deacons doubled their lead to 2-0 only minutes after halftime. Rachel Nuzzolese swung a corner kick in that couldn't find a head but fell to the feet of McBryar at the top of the six-yard box, giving the Indialantic, Fla., native had an easy tap-in for the first goal of her career.
Summer Green put the Tar Heels within a goal in the 60th minute. Crystal Dunn made a long run through the midfield and ripped a shot that clattered off the cross bar. The rebound went right to Green, who calmly put the ball into the vacant net to make the score 2-1.