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

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Controversial calls overshadow women’s soccer match

Wake Forest earns 1-1 draw with NC State; ACC rivals draw 13 combined cards
Evan Harris
Caiya Hanks (9), Emily Murphy (35), Abbie Colton (33) and Kristin Johnson (7) react to Emily Morris’s disallowed goal in the 82nd minute.

During the last ten minutes of Thursday’s conference match against NC State, Wake Forest had every reason to give up. 

Even with consistent pressure on the Wolfpack defense, the Demon Deacons could not connect on any of their 15 shot attempts, and all six of Wake Forest’s corner kicks were easily cleared. Meanwhile, NC State scored a goal in the 71st minute with a clean-header off a corner, and frustration fouls quickly began to pile up on the pitch and in the stat sheet. But still, there was no quit.

“The spirit was really good,” said Head Coach Tony da Luz. “Nobody gave up. They were just running their legs off.”

Wake Forest would attempt five more shots before the game was over, getting three on goal and putting two in the back of the net, but only one — Caiya Hank’s equalizer off the post in the 82nd minute — would end up counting.

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 “They tried and tried and tried to penetrate, and obviously, NC State had a lot of numbers back,” da Luz said. “It’s hard to get through. I thought we scored two goals, but the referee didn’t think so.”

In the 80th minute, NC State’s Hannah Jibril received her second yellow card of the evening and was ejected from the match. Down a player, NC State played a tight, compact defense to try and eliminate streaking forwards from getting into the box. Hanks was fouled just outside the box, setting up a free kick by Emily Morris. The midfielder curved the ball beautifully, rising above the wall and past the goalie into the top left corner of the net. The score, however, was promptly called for offsides.

[The referee] said that our kid encroached too close to the wall, which I’ve never seen called in my life,” da Luz said. “It’s shocking to have a quality goal like that disallowed for that reason. It’s just incredible to me.”

The Spry Stadium fans were just as shocked as Morris and da Luz were. There was outrage, too, such that once the final whistle was heard over the cursing crowd, police escorted the officiating crew off the pitch. The outrage can’t be pinned exactly to one call, but many. Thirteen yellow cards were shown during the course of the 90-minute match, including eight in the final 15 minutes. 

I think the referee was just blowing everything out of proportion,” da Luz said about his team’s six yellow cards and 13 fouls. “It seemed like every foul was a yellow card. I’ve never seen a game with so many yellow cards in my life. For a women’s soccer game in the ACC, it’s a new standard.”

Da Luz did not use the officiating as an excuse for his team’s play, saying the team was not productive enough creating chances, gaining width or playing with rhythm in the first half, and “super unlucky” with the chances they had in the second. He also repeated the necessity of attacking the final third with one more pass, making sure each attempt is a quality shot. 

“I feel bad for our girls and for our team because I think we deserved three points,” da Luz said. “But you know, you can’t give up goals on set pieces. It’s the second game that we’ve given up set piece goals, and you just can’t do it.”

Wake Forest ended up controlling possession of the ball 61% of the time and outshot NC State 20-3, but only five players attempted a shot. Hanks took nine shots with three on goal, while Morris attempted four with two on target. Goalkeeper Maddy Howard finished the match with two saves. 

Wake Forest (6-1-2) will take on No. 22 UVA (5-1-3) at Spry Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 24. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

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Cooper Sullivan
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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