Wake Forest tops UNCG on Homecoming, 2-1, in front of near-record crowd
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Andy Lubahn scored with 9:44 to play to lift Wake Forest to a 2-1 win over UNCG on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 3,494 at UNCG Soccer Stadium for Homecoming.
The crowd of 3,494 was the fourth-largest to see a Spartan soccer match at UNCG Soccer Stadium and the largest since 1991.
Both teams scored their first goals of the night via a penalty kick. Luca Gimenez converted one for the Deacs just 5:17 before halftime. UNCG's Mahdi Ali was whistled for grabbing the shirt of a Wake Forest forward chasing a loose ball in the box. Gimenez tucked the penalty kick inside the right post for a 1-0 Wake Forest advantage.
The score stayed that way until 62:48. UNCG's Kris Byrd was tripped up trying to cut between two defenders on the left side of the box and the Spartans were awarded a penalty kick. Will Mack converted the kick inside the right post to tie the match, 1-1.
With just under 10 minutes to play, however, Gimenez had a nifty pass from the left side of the box to the goal's doorstep. That was where Lubahn was waiting to knock it home for what would be the game-winner.
Justin Maullin talks with the media following Saturday's loss to Wake Forest.
"We were the better team tonight," said interim coach Justin Maullin. "We played really well and I know what that scoreboard says – it says we lost, 2-1 – but we were the better team. Give their goalkeeper credit. He made some great saves and kept us off the scoreboard quite a bit."
UNCG (4-3-1) dominated play for most of the night, outshooting Wake Forest, 21-10, but missing several golden opportunities to score that later came back to haunt them. The Spartans saw their seven-game home unbeaten streak (6-0-1) snapped that dated back to last October. UNCG had also been unbeaten in its last four overall matches.
It was the second straight heartbreaker for the Spartans. Wednesday night, UNCG tied Campbell, 1-1, after the Camels tied the game with just six seconds left in regulation.
Wake Forest (3-3-1) has won six straight meetings in the series. In fact, Wake Forest had shut out the Spartans in 11 consecutive halves prior to Mack's tally. UNCG's last win in the series came in 2004, 2-1, at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
UNCG is now 18-5-3 all-time on Homecoming. The Spartans are winless in their last four Homecoming games, going 0-3-1 in that span. Wake Forest, ranked No. 19 this week, is third ranked opponent among those four Homecoming games, however, joining Akron in 2007 and Brown in 2008.
UNCG returns to action on Tuesday night when it visits High Point for an 8 p.m. start. The match will be televised locally on Spanish-programming Estrella TV (TimeWarner Cable 131 / Digital Channel 20.3).
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Wake Forest......... 1 1 - 2
UNCG................ 0 1 - 1
SCORING SUMMARY: WF Gimenez (penalty kick) 39:43; UNCG - Mack (penalty kick), 62:48; WF Lubahn (Gimenez), 80:16. Shots: Wake Forest 10, UNCG 21. Saves: Wake Forest 8 (Fitzgerald 8), UNCG 4 (Ford 4). Corner kicks: Wake Forest 5, UNCG 3. Fouls: Wake Forest 12, UNCG 11.
- UNCG -