UNCG hits the road to face No. 10 Wake Forest on Monday
UNCG (1-0) at No. 10/15 Wake Forest (1-0), Aug. 23, 7 p.m., Winston-Salem, N.C.
LiveStats: GameTracker (via WakeForestSports.com)
- UNCG will make the short trip to Winston-Salem, N.C., for a clash with No. 10 Wake Forest on Monday night at Spry Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
- The Spartans and the Demon Deacons have met every year since 1998, including twice in 2003, when UNCG topped Wake in the first round of the NCAA tournament, 2-1. Wake Forest has had the run of play in the series, however, as it holds an 11-1-1 mark against the Spartans all-time. The tie came in 2007, when the sides played to a 1-1 draw in Greensboro.
- Wake Forest enters Monday's contest ranked 10th in the NSCAA Preseason Top 25 and 15th in the Soccer America Preseason Top 25.
- The squads last faced each other on Aug. 23 of last season, with the Demon Deacons taking a 2-1 win in Greensboro. Kaley Fountain scored what would prove to be the game-winner for the Deacs in the 58th minute. UNCG had jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute on a Jenn Partenheimer goal, but Wake tied it just before the half on a Jill Hutchinson goal.
- The Spartans opened their season with a 2-0 win over East Carolina on Friday. Reigning Southern Conference Co-Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year Tabitha Padgett scored the game-winner, notching her first goal of the season in the 15th minute. Freshman Kory Spotts added her first career goal later in the half, heading home a Jaimey Etten corner kick in the 33rd minute. Kelsey Kearney turned away five shots to earn the shutout.
- Wake Forest also got its season off to a winning start, as it blanked UNC Wilmington, 4-0, in Wilmington, N.C., on Friday. Jordan Feger put the Deacs on the board in the 37th minute before Wake blew the game open in the second half. Freshmen Katie Stengel and Rachel Nuzzolese notched their first career goals in the second half, while Casey Luckhurst scored in the 73rd minute, heading home Nuzzolese's shot off the crossbar, for the final margin. Freshman Aubrey Bledsoe made four saves for the shutout.
- Kearney's shutout Friday was the 20th of her career, moving her into a tie for third on UNCG's career list with Paula Domitrovits (1995-98). Kearney, a junior, now trails school-record holder Jennifer Stillman by five. Kearney is also UNCG's career leader in goals against average, with Friday's effort dropping her career mark to a stellar 0.63.
- The Spartans went 13-7-0 overall and 9-2-0 in the SoCon in 2009, running its league-record unbeaten streak in regular-season contests to 33 matches before the senior class suffered its first-ever SoCon loss.
- The Spartans, who have won the SoCon regular season in four straight seasons and five of the last six, were picked to repeat as champions in the preseason poll released by the league Wednesday. UNCG was picked first on nine of the 12 league coaches' ballots. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team or players.
- Padgett scored a team-best eight goals in 2009 and was UNCG's second-leading scorer with 19 points overall. Overall, the Spartans bring back five of their top six scorers from last season. Lauren Hein was third on the squad with 14 points on five goals and four assists as a freshman last year.
- Wake Forest, which reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history in 2009, returns five starters and 14 letterwinners from last season's squad. In addition, the Deacs added a talented freshman class that includes U-18 National Team players Stengel, Nuzzolese and Bledsoe.
- The Deacons lost their top three scorers from last season, as Hutchinson, Fountain and Allie Sadow combined for a whopping 79 points (29 goals, 21 assists). Bianca D'Agostino is Wake's leading returning scorer. She had 10 points on two goals and six assists last season.
- UNCG -