Wake Advances To Fifth Straight College Cup
Dec. 6, 2008
Courtesy of Wake Forest
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Five different players scored goals as Wake Forest (21-1-1, 7-0-1 ACC) advanced to its third straight College Cup with a 5-0 win over South Florida (15-5-3, 7-3-1 Big East) in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night at Spry Stadium.
"I'm very excited for my team," head coach Jay Vidovich said. "We had a tremendous start to the match. Jamie (Franks) got us off to a great start with his goal and then Sam (Cronin) had a great response goal a minute later and set the tone for everything. I'm tremendously happy with how we played and defended right from the beginning. Hats off to South Florida. They're a very good team. In the second half, they got the job done by holding us to one goal. Our guys did a fantastic job the entire game."
Wake Forest will face ACC-foe North Carolina in the College Cup semifinals on Friday, December 12, at either 5:30 or 8 p.m. (ET). The 5:30 p.m. game will be shown on both ESPN2 and ESPNU, while the game at 8 p.m. (ET) will be shown on ESPNU. Maryland and St. John's will battle in the other national semifinal.
With the win, Wake Forest becomes just the 12th school in NCAA history to advance to three College Cups in a row and the first team to accomplish the feat since Maryland, which made four straight College Cups from 2002-05.
Wake also extended its unbeaten streak to 12 straight games in the NCAA Tournament. The Deacons now have an all-time record of 17-9-2 in the NCAA Tournament, including a 14-7-1 record when playing in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest extended its home unbeaten streak to 34 games, the fourth-longest streak in NCAA history. The Deacs are also unbeaten in their last 41 games against non-conference foes.
With the five goals scored in the game, Wake Forest now has 81 goals on the season, which extends the school record for most goals in a season.
Wake Forest found goals from several different people in the game as five different players scored goals. Playing in their final game at Spry Stadium, four seniors scored goals as Jamie Franks, Sam Cronin, Lyle Adams and Marcus Tracy each found the back of the net. Junior Zack Schilawski added the fifth goal of the night for the Deacs.
Cody Arnoux assisted on three of the goals to bring his season point total to 42. The 42 points are the third most in a single season in school history and Arnoux is the first Wake player to exceed 40 points in a season since 2004 when Scott Sealy had 44 points.
Junior goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald made four saves in the game to record his 13th shutout on the season. The 13 clean sheets ties the school record for most shutouts in a single season. Brian Edwards had 13 shutouts during the 2007 season.
Saturday night's game marked the final home game in the careers of the eight Wake Forest seniors. Lyle Adams, Cline Beam, Evan Brown, Will Clayton, Cronin, Franks, Tracy and Mike Lahoud closed their careers at Spry Stadium with a 40-4-4 home record.
"After the game, we were just soaking in the moment of playing our last home game," Lyle Adams said. "It's been a great four years for us. Everyone enjoyed the experience one last time of walking up to the field together. Marcus (Tracy) and I were talking before the game that this was our last time walking up to Spry for a game so we might as well make the most of it. I think tonight we all came out to make the most of our last time together on this field."
Wake Forest struck first in the contest, scoring in the 15th minute. Arnoux played a pass to the center of the 18-yard box that found Franks. Franks fired a shot from 16 yards out that found the right side of the net to give Wake Forest a 1-0 edge. Brown was also credited with an assist on the play.
The Deacons added a second goal just over a minute later. Off a USF turnover on its end of the field, Cronin collected the ball in the middle of the field and scored from 18 yards out to extend the lead to 2-0. The goal for Cronin was his 10th of the season.
Wake Forest found goal number three of the game in the 21st minute. Arnoux played a cross to Lyle Adams inside the six-yard box. Adams finished the opportunity in front of the net for his third goal of the year.
Tracy closed out the scoring in the first half with a goal at the 28:56 mark. Corben Bone played a cross into the six-yard box and Tracy finished from in front of the net to extend the lead to 4-0. Tracy scored his 13th goal of the season, while Bone extended his single-season school assist record to 17.
Zack Schilawski scored the only Wake Forest goal in the final 45 minutes, scoring in the 61st minute. Arnoux played a cross to Schilawski in the center of the field. Schilawski's shot hit off the keeper and bounced into the net for his 11th goal of the year.
Wake Forest held a 14-9 shot advantage over the Bulls, including an 8-4 edge in shots on goal.
Stay tuned to WakeForestSports.com for more information on Wake Forest's run in the NCAA Tournament.