"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 clinches division title, earns No. 2 ACC Tournament seed

The No. 3 Demon Deacons were crowned ACC Atlantic division champions after drawing against Louisville on Friday night
Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics
Wake Forest celebrates its fifth ACC Atlantic division title in the previous nine years.

No. 3 Wake Forest men’s soccer (11-1-5) won the ACC Atlantic division Friday night after a 2-2 draw on the road against the Louisville Cardinals. 

After Louisville took an early lead with back-to-back goals in the first half, Wake Forest saved the game with a goal from senior Jahlane Forbes in just the final 10 minutes. 

Forbes scored the first goal of the match in the 26th minute of play — his fourth goal of the season; however, Louisville wasted no time in knotting up the score with a goal from Bradley Sample less than 90 seconds later. After a corner kick and shot from Wake Forest in the minutes afterward, the Cardinals continued to press on, scoring a second goal in the 34th minute to take a 2-1 lead. 

Wake Forest went to the locker room down a goal but having dominated the offensive side of the stat sheet. The Demon Deacons recorded 12 shots in the first half and held themselves to just four fouls during the period. By comparison, Louisville put up only two shots in the half, though both of those shots ended up in the back of the net. 

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The final 20 minutes saw an aggressive change in play from Louisville. The Cardinals were assessed five yellow cards during this time after neither team had been given a card all night and racked up another 10 fouls. 

With just 10 minutes remaining in the second half, senior Hosei Kijima delivered a game-saving goal for Wake Forest to tie the score at two apiece. 

The draw sends the Demon Deacons into the ACC tournament as the No. 2 seed. Wake Forest earned a first-round bye and will face the winner of Wednesday’s match between No. 7 North Carolina and No. 10 Virginia Tech. 

So far this season, Wake Forest has had a near spotless record against conference opponents. The Demon Deacons’ lone loss of the season was to Pittsburgh on Sept. 9, and they have remained undefeated in the 12 matches since. 

Wake Forest is poised to enter the tournament as an elite offensive unit. The Demon Deacons rank second in the conference in shots attempted and third in total goals on the season, averaging over two goals per match. Wake Forest is also one of just four ACC teams to average a margin of victory of at least one goal. 

Junior forward Roald Mitchell has led the team offensively all season. A conference standout, Mitchell ranks among the top 10 players in the ACC in shots (43), shots on goal (19), goals (9), points and even game-winning goals (3). Wake Forest also boasts Forbes as a conference assists leader tied for fourth-most in the ACC this season with six. The Demon Deacons have also been efficient on defense, allowing less than one goal per match from opponents, the third-least of any ACC team. 

As it stands, No. 5- ranked Notre Dame is expected to pose the biggest threat to Wake Forest for the conference crown. The Fighting Irish secured the No. 1 tournament seed in their 1-1 draw with Wake Forest last week, having gone undefeated in the conference all season. Notre Dame is currently third in the ACC in goals scored and average margin of victory, fourth in shots and first in save rate. 

That said, the Duke Blue Devils will also be making waves in this upcoming tournament. Since its last loss to Notre Dame on Oct. 7, Duke has scored 19, 14 of which came in back-to-back games. Led by conference star Forster Ajago, who stands atop the ACC in four different stat categories — including both shots on goal and goals — Duke leads the ACC in shots, goals and assists.

ACC tournament action begins on Nov. 1 when eight teams face off in the first round of play. Wake Forest will not play until the quarterfinal round on Nov. 5.


Correction Nov. 1: An earlier version of this article misstated Andrew Braun’s position in the Old Gold & Black. The correct position of staff writer now appears in the byline.

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About the Contributor
Andrew Braun
Andrew Braun, Sports Editor
Andrew is a freshman from Wrightsville Beach, N.C. intending to major in politics and international affairs and minor in journalism. Outside of the OGB, he is a member of a capella group Innuendo and Model United Nations. In his free time, you can find him playing bass and guitar, watching only the most obscure NBA matchups and paddle surfing at the beach.

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