"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Women’s soccer takes the wind out of Iona’s Gaels

The undefeated Demon Deacons put up a 6-0 victory
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Mike Liu
Emily Morris (in white) prepares to strike the ball.

Apparently, goalie kicks aren’t worth two points. Even if some people say otherwise.

Senior goalkeeper Maddy Howard proved it once and for all during a penalty kick in the 51st minute when she sent the ball to the back of the net and added one of Wake Forest’s six points to the scoreboard. Howard and the Demon Deacons also kept a clean sheet during the game.

“I talked to her before the game because it was her senior day, and I just said ‘Hey, if we’re up a few and we get one here, you’re gonna take it,’” Head Coach Tony da Luz said. 

Howard ran from her position in the opposite goal to the spot where teammate Hannah Johnson had just been fouled and awarded a penalty kick. The senior from Greensboro, N.C. took a few steps before connecting with her right foot and sending it past Iona’s diving keeper.

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The Spry Stadium crowd, filled with Howard’s family and friends, roared into cheer and began waving their cardboard cutouts, laughing as the PA announcer said it was Howard’s first career goal.

“A shutout and a goal scored is a decent day for a goalkeeper,” da Luz said. 

Howard didn’t have much of a test in the goal as Iona attempted only one shot off target. Many opportunities were either blocked by Demon Deacon defenders or by the Demon Deacon offense, who maintained possession of the ball for nearly two-thirds of the match.

Wake Forest used its time with the ball to put continuous pressure on goalkeeper Caroline Scott and the rest of the Iona defense, taking 41 total shots and putting 21 on goal. Fourteen players ended up taking shots, and each goal was scored by a different player, including five who notched their first goals of the season.

For the first 20 minutes, Wake Forest could not capitalize on its offensive advantage, settling for shots 20 and 25 yards away from the goal. As da Luz would yell from the sidelines, the team needed to push into the box and make one more pass to get better opportunities. 

Sophomore forward Alex Wood was the first to score in the 23rd minute off an Anna Swanson cross to the middle of the box after defensive pressure from midfielder Caiya Hanks forced a steal and momentum swing. 

Midfielder Nikayla Small attempted five shots in the first half, coming close but not close enough — one shot went off the crossbar. The junior had no trouble whatsoever helping her teammates score, setting up a beautiful one-touch goal by midfielder Emily Morris in the 34th minute and another at the top of the box for midfielder Olivia Duvall in the 40th. Small’s two assists on the day bring her season total to five, which is the most on the team and third-most in the ACC.

The final two goals for the Demon Deacons were scored by senior midfielder Kristi Vierra on a penalty kick in the 65th minute and by senior forward Carrie McIntire in the 85th minute. 

“I felt like we were pretty sharp the whole 90 minutes,” da Luz said. “We could have been a little bit more clinical in the first half, but, you know, we created a bunch of chances, and the guys that came in to finish the game did a great job. Three in the first, three in the second, you know, it could have been more, but their goalkeeper made a couple of really incredible saves.”

He continued: “That’s exactly what you want in a two-game weekend. Win on Thursday, take care of business Sunday and rest players.”

Wake Forest (5-0-1) will travel up to New England for their next two matches with the University of Rhode Island (0-3-3) on Sept. 7 and Brown University (3-1) on Sept. 10.

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Cooper Sullivan, Sports Editor
Cooper Sullivan is a senior from Winston-Salem majoring in Communication with double minors in Journalism and Art History. He enjoys long walks on the beach, dancing like no one is watching and "committing to the bit".

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