Freshman Ema Twumasi’s two consecutive goals only two minutes apart against Virginia Tech sends the Wake Forest men’s soccer team to Houston, Texas, to compete in the NCAA semi-finals against No. 6 Denver on Friday.
The ACC championship winning team played in Spry Stadium in front of 3,401 fans.
This win marked the team’s 12th in a row and puts them back in the Final Four for the first time since 2009. Stanford and the University of North Carolina are the other two teams to make it to Houston and will also compete on Friday night.
The two teams had not seen each other since the fall of their 2014 seasons when the Hokies won 2-0. The Deacs possessed the ball from the very beginning and outshot the Hokies 18-5. In the second half alone, the Deacs had eight shots on goal while Virginia Tech only had two. They were, however, unable to put the ball in the back of the net until the 80th minute of play.
“We were a little impatient at times, because things weren’t falling, but we knew they were an aggressive team so we just kept playing through them and playing our game to get the win,” said senior Ian Harkes.
The Demon Deacons were also more effective in terms of fouls.
They only collected four while Virginia Tech had nine in just the first half.
Twumasi’s first goal came from a lofted ball in the box from Harkes.
“Ian is a great passer,” Twumasi said. “So right when I saw him have the ball I knew I had to run, and he was going to find me.”
Less than two minutes later, Twumasi did it again from just about the same spot.
His first shot was blocked by the goalkeeper, but the rebound went right back to his feet again, and he fired a shot into the bottom corner of the net. This marked his sixth goal of the year.
“Coming to Wake Forest, that was my dream to get to the Final Four and hopefully to win a national championship,” Twumasi said. “That would be a great way to start of my college career.”
He came to Wake Forest from Ghana through the “Right to Dream Program,” which is an organization that allows West African children to reach their potential through soccer and education.
Wake Forest has not lost a game since Sept. 30, where they were defeated on the road against Clemson.
This winning streak ties their fifth-best in program history.
The winner of the Wake Forest and Denver game on Friday will face the winner of the North Carolina and Stanford game in the NCAA championship that will be on Sunday, Dec. 18.
Coach Bobby Muuss of Wake Forest was an assistant coach at Wake Forest under Jay Vidovich from 2001-2007 and left to become the head coach at Denver, where he was the head coach until 2014.
“It doesn’t matter if we play Denver or if we played Clemson, Louisville or Stanford. They’re all good teams and would all be good games,” Muuss said. “It’s the College Cup. There are four teams remaining for a reason, and we look forward to the challenge. It’s an exciting time for us.”
Wake Forest will have a chance to beat anybody in the country if they continue their form.