DURHAM, N.C. — The Wake Forest women's soccer team (15-4-0, 6-4-0 ACC) battled for a 2-1 upset victory at the No. 3 seed No. 2 Duke Blue Devils (13-3-1, 7-2-1 ACC) on Sunday night at Koskinen Stadium in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.
The sixth-seeded Demon Deacons capitalized on an early first-half goal and a Duke own goal to secure the highest-ranked win in program history and advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2012.
The Deacs, playing in their first ACC Championship since 2017 struck first in the 29th minute when Jenna Menta connected with a Nikayla Small cross to put the Deacs up one. Malaika Meena threaded a pass through for the Canadian, who served a tasty ball into the six-yard box. Menta made no mistake for her sixth goal of the season.
Menta's strike snapped the Blue Devils five-match shutout streak that went for 450 plus scoreless minutes.
Right from the start, both teams were displaying their physicality. In the first half, there were four yellow cards shown by the referee.
Wake Forest outshot the Blue Devils in the first half, 8-5. The Deacs totaled more shots in the first half than they did through the whole game when they faced Duke earlier this campaign.
In the 83rd minute, Menta played a cross into the six-yard box, which was met by the foot of a Blue Devil defender. It bounced off her foot and nestled into the back of the Duke goal. The own-goal effectively put the game to bed and captured the upset victory.
The four-person backline of sophomore Sophie Faircloth, freshman Kristin Johnson, freshman Zara Chavoshi and senior Ryanne Brown limited the Blue Devil offense that has outscored their ACC opponents 15-4, to just five shots on target.
Goalkeeper Kaitlyn Parks garnered four saves in route to her 13th win of the season.