[ACC WOMEN]Wake Forest and Duke, both in and out of the Soccer America Women's Top 25 this season, made strong cases for inclusion in the NCAA Tournament with impressive wins over No. 4 Maryland and No. 6 Boston College, respectively, on Thursday night. Freshmen were the difference in both games.
Katie Stengel stied a school record with her 14th goal of the season as Wake Forest earned its most impressive win of the season – a 2-1 triumph over Maryland at Spry Stadium, while Laura Weinberg score two goals in less than two minutes in the first half to propel Duke to a 3-0 victory against BC at Koskinen Stadium.
Stengel scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal for Wake Forest in the 64th minute, when she collected a lob out of the midfield from Bianca D’Agostino and cheekily chipped onrushing Maryland goalkeeper Yewande Balogun.
With 14 goals this season, Stengel tied Jill Hutchinson’s 14-goal performance in 2009 for the Wake Forest single-season goal-scoring record.
The Demon Deacons improved to 11-5-1 (4-2-1 ACC) with the win, while the Terrapins fall to 12-2-1 (5-2-1 ACC).
“I’m so happy,” said Wake coach Tony da Luz. “The kids played the game plan almost to perfection. I thought we passed the ball pretty well tonight and created some good chances. They are a very solid all-around team. I couldn’t be happier with the performance and the result.”
Duke improved to 9-5-3 overall and 3-4-1 in ACC action, while Boston College fell to 10-4-1 and 3-4-0. On Sunday, the Blue Devils had beaten No. 25 Virginia Tech, 3-0.
“If you go back to the last three games that we’ve won, we got an opening goal,” said Duke coach Robbie Church. “With a young team, especially, we just needed something to say that all of our hard work, all our effort, all of our tactics are in place. That’s what they got in those opening goals.”
Church praised his young team's commitment.
“We’ve had chances during the year,” said Church. “We had a tough loss to Wake, a tough loss to Miami -- we could have given up and said we were too young, we are not this, we are not that. We have been practicing unbelievably hard every day -- if it is 45 minutes or an hour and a half -- we have been practicing really, really hard and its paying off for them. I don’t think there are a lot of teams that have practiced as hard as we have at this time of year. Now they have taken it over from the training and into game situations. It looks like we are coming along at the right time, but we are not out of the woods yet.”