"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

Men’s soccer’s win streak reaches eight games

Jake Swallen tallies three assists in 5-1 victory over Robert Morris
Virginia Noone
Babacar Niang dribbles past two Robert Morris defenders.

In the team’s last non-conference matchup of the season, No. 3 Wake Forest (11-1-3, 4-1-1) defeated Robert Morris (4-4-5, 2-2-2), 5-1 on Tuesday night at Spry Stadium. A four-goal advantage for the Demon Deacons midway through the second half allowed for reserve players to gain experience heading into the final two games of the season. 

“I’m happy that we were able to put the game away when we did so that we could rotate some guys,” said Men’s Soccer Head Coach Bobby Muuss. “We played 24 guys, so I’m excited with the result.”

The Demon Deacons assisted on four goals, and three of these passes came from the bench. It was just one substitution, senior Jake Swallen, who notched all three of these assists. The three-assist game from Swallen is the first of its kind in just under six years. The last Demon Deacon to hit this mark was Luis Argudo on Oct. 10, 2017 in a 3-0 win over University of Alabama-Birmingham. 

Substitutions for Wake Forest also accounted for three of their five goals in the match. For freshman Jeffrey White, this was the first of his career as a Demon Deacon. In the 65th minute, freshman Liam O’Gara shortened the pitch with a crossfield pass to White. The freshman fought off a defender to clear the necessary space to earn the fourth Wake Forest goal of the night.

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The score was the first of three between both teams within a two minute period. While the Colonials were able to make it 4-1 with their first possession off of the ensuing kickoff, junior Julian Kennedy scored Wake Forest’s fifth goal with the help of Swallen.

Leading a breakaway down the middle of the field in the 66th minute, Swallen was not just looking for a goal but also his third assist of the match. His pass led Kennedy into the penalty box, where he had just the goalkeeper to beat with a ball into the bottom right corner. 

Wake Forest huddles together to celebrate a Leo Guarino goal. (Virginia Noone)

Swallen’s second assist came in the 56th minute, this time from the midfield, after spotting senior Jahlene Forbes in open space. Receiving the senior’s pass on the left side of the attacking third, Forbes bisected a pair of defenders in a sprint towards the penalty box. From there, he launched the ball into the far-side netting to claim the Demon Deacons’ third goal of the night. 

While starters still filled the pitch, Forbes worked in tandem with junior Cristiano Escribano to weave the ball from the midfield to swings down the sidelines. They led attacks throughout the first half, often finding senior Hosei Kijima, who took the first three shots of the night for the Demon Deacons. 

Forbes found a scoring opportunity midway through the first half as Escribano met him with a pass halfway up the right side of the attacking third with a through ball. Defenders stifled Forbes on his shot, but junior Leo Guarino managed to poke the ball through for the score before the goalkeeper could secure it. 

The first assist of the night for Swallen came as Forbes cut toward the end line in the 20th minute. Swallen pushed the ball through to the senior, who drew in the Colonials’ last line of defense before sending a pass across the goal for junior Roald Mitchell to finish. 

The five goals on the night proved more than enough to stack Wake Forest’s eighth win in a row, a streak second only to No. 1 Marshall’s undefeated record. 

“At this time of the year, midweek matches are difficult,” Muuss said. “From a mentality standpoint, we did everything we possibly could as a staff and as players to not look past this game with the excitement of a really good Notre Dame team coming.”

The Demon Deacons host the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-1-3, 5-0-1) at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 in the last game at Spry Stadium this season.

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Aaron Nataline
Aaron Nataline, Sports Editor
Aaron Nataline is a junior from Cranford, NJ majoring in Psychology with a minor in journalism. He spends most of his time dominating the paint at the basketball courts or shamelessly watching reality TV shows.

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