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Wake Forest Athletics | September 18, 2021

Wake Forest men's soccer tops No. 5 Pittsburgh in ACC home opener

Men's soccer rankings: Pitt, Tulsa climb the ladder

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Wake Forest (3-2-0, 1-1-0) men's soccer earned its first win of the season against a ranked opponent with a 3-1 victory over No. 5 Pittsburgh (4-3-0, 1-1-0). The victory also marked Wake Forest's first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) win of the season. 

The Demon Deacons went into the halftime break up 2-0 thanks to goals from senior Kyle Holcomb and sophomore Garrison Tubbs. Wake Forest extended its lead to 3-0 in the 69th minute when sophomore Chase Oliver found the back of the net before securing a 3-1 victory. 

The Deacs remain undefeated against Pitt in the all-time series. In five matchups against Pitt, Wake Forest has outscored the Panthers 13-1. 

MEN'S SOCCER RANKINGS: View the full top 25 here

How It Happened 

  • Senior Kyle Holcomb got the scoring started in the 15th minute. Junior Omar Hernandez's shot from outside the 18-yard box was saved by the Pitt goalkeeper. However, Holcomb was on-hand to dispatch the rebound. 

  • Sophomore Garrison Tubbs doubled the Deacs' advantage when he headed home his first career goal. The Brunswick, Ga., native connected with redshirt junior Jake Swallen off a corner to extend the Wake Forest lead. Swallen now has three assists in four games, most on the team. 

  • With 20 minutes remaining in the contest, sophomore Chase Oliver notched his second goal of the season. Oliver's left-footed shot deflected past the Pitt goalkeeper. Freshman Leo Guarino provided the assist for Oliver's goal, his first point in a Demon Deacon uniform. 

  • Pitt did find a breakthrough, though, when Veljko Petkovic scored his fifth goal of the season.

  • The Deacs were forced to finish the match with 10 men following a red card in the 84th minute. 

  • Freshman Trace Alphin made his second career start and made three saves en route to his first collegiate win. 

Demon Deacon Details of Note

  • Junior David Wrona made his 10th career start.

  • Redshirt junior Jake Swallen made his 35th career appearance. 

  • Junior Takuma Suzuki made his 30th career appearance. 

  • Sophomore Hosei Kijima made his 20th career appearance. 

  • With his goal, Holcomb moved ahead of former teammate and two time All-American Bruno Lapa with 24 goals in his Demon Deacon career. 

  • His goal also pushed him ahead of Sam Cronin on the all-time points list with 54.

  • With the victory, Wake Forest is now 5-0-0 all-time against the Panthers. 

  • Head coach Bobby Muuss is now 3-0-0 all-time in head-to-head matchups with former Wake Forest head coach Jay Vidovich. 

  • Wake Forest is unbeaten in its last seven home regular season appearances against ACC foes. 

  • Wake Forest is 7-0-0 in ACC home openers under Muuss. 

Muuss' Musings
"We played with energy for the first time, I think, this season. We knew it was going to be a tough task the way Pitt stretches you, the way they play, the confidence that they have in the ball, the individual players they have on the field. They were without some guys tonight, I think we were fortunate for that, but we were out with a lot of guys tonight. But I think we scraped and we clawed. To get three points at home against a really, really good and experienced Pittsburgh team with this young group, I couldn't be more proud."

MORE UPSETS: Unranked Ohio State defeats No. 7 Akron 

Up Next
Wake Forest will hit the road for its lone road nonconference match of the season on Monday night when the Demon Deacons face George Mason in Fairfax, Va. 

Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the match will be streamed on ESPN+.

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