Trace Alphin (1), Cristian Escribano (19) and Cooper Flax (18) celebrate their win over NC State on the field with the 2024 Spring Soccer Cup.
Trace Alphin (1), Cristian Escribano (19) and Cooper Flax (18) celebrate their win over NC State on the field with the 2024 Spring Soccer Cup.
William Kunisaki

Wake Forest Men’s Soccer wins Spring Soccer Cup at home

The Demon Deacons defeated NC State on penalty kicks, 2 (4) -2 (2)

Wake Forest Men’s Soccer kept fans on the edge of their seat en route to hoisting the 2024 Spring Soccer Cup. 

Scoring a last-second goal to force a penalty kick shootout on Sunday afternoon, the Demon Deacons beat NC State to win the Spring Soccer Cup Finals match. 

The ten college soccer programs from across the nation participating in this year’s Spring Cup have won a combined 20 national and 41 conference titles. Under the tournament’s format, teams winning their Spring Cup match during regulation time were awarded three points in the standings, and those tied after 90 minutes were decided by penalty kicks. The winner of PK-decided matches earned two points, while the loser picked up one point. 

Wake Forest entered the championship match having faced three other programs throughout the tournament. The Demon Deacons first lost to North Carolina before downing Georgetown in regulation and Pittsburgh in penalty kicks. 

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NC State took a 1-0 lead early in the first period over Wake Forest with an undefended open-goal shot. Demon Deacons junior Babacar “Baba” Niang tied the match with a crossfield shot to the top-right corner of the Wolfpack’s goal. 

After scoring late in the 73rd minute to go up 2-1, an NC State victory seemed certain. Then, a deflected shot from Niang ultimately found sophomore Cooper Flax, who made the last-second goal for Wake Forest to tie the match and force the match to a decision by penalty kicks. 

All-ACC goalkeeper Trace Alphin played elite defense after regulation, making two saves to give Wake Forest the chance to win the championship match in a penalty kick shootout. 

After a winning 2023 regular season, the Demon Deacons were disappointed in the postseason, failing to win a postseason game. The No. 2 seed in last year’s ACC Tournament, Wake Forest was knocked out by ranked North Carolina before losing to Big Ten champion Indiana in the NCAA Tournament. 

But with a successful outing for Wake Forest on both sides of the ball this past Sunday, the Demon Deacons could be looking forward to another campaign as a premier national soccer program.

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