Dec. 11, 2008
Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Two teams separated by approximately 85 miles will travel over 1100 miles to meet in the first of two national semifinals on Friday as top-seed Wake Forest faces ACC-foe and 13th-seed North Carolina at 5:30 p.m. (ET) at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The game will be shown live on ESPN2.
"To play against North Carolina, which has always been one of the top teams in the country and in the ACC, is a tremendous honor," head coach Jay Vidovich said. "We've had some success over them in the last couple of years. This year's game against them was probably one of our more challenging games. It will be a very competitive match."
The Demon Deacons, No. 1 in the country with a 21-1-1 overall record, are in the College Cup for the third straight season. Wake Forest is only the 12th school in NCAA history to advance to the national semifinals in three straight seasons. In 2006, Wake Forest lost a heartbreaker in penalty kicks to UC Santa Barbara in the semifinals. The Deacons captured their first national championship in 2007 by defeating Virginia Tech and Ohio State.
Wake Forest has advanced to the College Cup after posting dominating results in its last two games. The Deacons dispatched of Dartmouth 7-0 in the third round before beating South Florida 5-0 in the quarterfinals. Five different Wake Forest players scored in the match against the Bulls and junior goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald notched his 13th shutout of the season, tying the school record for most shutouts in a single season.
North Carolina enters the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament with a 14-7-1 record. The Tar Heels entered the NCAA Tournament on a five-match losing streak, but have since won three matches to advance to the College Cup for the third time in program history. UNC defeated Northwestern 1-0 in the quarterfinals in its last match.
The Tar Heels are led by Brian Shriver, who earned All-ACC First Team honors. Shriver leads the Tar Heels with 13 goals and 31 points on the season. Kirk Urso leads UNC with six assists on the season and also scored the game-winning goal in the win over Northwestern.
Brooks Haggerty has started all three games in goal for the Tar Heels in the NCAA Tournament. Haggerty has played in seven games on the season, with six starts. He has allowed eight goals on the season and has posted a record of 4-2-0 with two shutouts.
Wake Forest and North Carolina are meeting for the 37th time in series history. The Tar Heels lead the all-time series 19-10-7, but the Demon Deacons have enjoyed recent success, winning the last three meetings.
Tickets for the 2008 College Cup can be purchased by calling the SMU ticket office at 214-SMU-GAME or by calling the Pizza Hut Park ticket office at 214-705-6700. All-session tickets start at $35, while tickets for just the semifinals start at $20.
Live stats along with a recap from Friday's semifinal match will be available at wakeforestsports.com. More information on the 2008 College Cup can be found by visiting the official website.