Practice makes perfect for Deacs

[WAKE FOREST-VIRGINIA] Wake Forest coach Tony da Luz's move to have Riley Ridgik take corner kicks for the first time this season paid off in a big way as the No. 6 Demon Deacons scored twice off corner kicks and downed No. 7 Virginia, 2-0, Sunday afternoon at Spry Stadium. Wake Forest (11-1-1) remained undefeated for the ACC season (4-0-1) and is off to the best conference start ever.

The Deacs struck first in the 22nd minute when Ridgik’s corner found Ally Berry at the back post, and the junior midfielder headed the ball past Virginia goalkeeper Chantel Jones.

On the second goal in the 63rd minute, Jones saved the first headed attempt by Caralee Keppler, but Jackie Logue was there to put away the rebound to make it 2-0.

“We worked on our corner kicks after Virginia Tech because we were woeful [on them].” said da Luz. “We tried Riley [in practice] and she was super consistent, so we gave her a shot and she did a great job.”

Goalie Aubrey Bledsoe came up with several outstanding saves to earn her eighth shutout of the season, tied for the second-most in a season in school history.

“It was a frustrating game for us today,” said Virginia coach Steve Swanson. “I thought we created chances but couldn’t take advantage of them. The way they scored their goals, both off corners, was disappointing. We didn’t take advantage of an opportunity today, but we have plenty more opportunities coming up. We need to take the lessons of this game and use them to improve, and I am confident that we can.”

The Cavaliers fall to 8-3-2 overall (2-2-1 ACC) with the loss.

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