WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.—Top-ranked Wake Forest scored three second-half goals to upend No. 15 Duke 4-2 in a thrilling ACC men’s soccer game tonight in front of 4,937 fans at Spry Stadium. The Blue Devils resume non-conference action again in three days.
The first half was an action-packed 45 minutes with the two top-15 squads combining for 10 shots and a pair of goals to head into the locker room tied 1-1. Duke (4-3-1, 1-2-0) came out with its best foot forward, creating a pair of scoring opportunities in the opening minutes.
Daniele Proch was the first to get into the action, slipping a shot wide right of frame from 18 yards. Duke’s high pressure play gave the Demon Deacons fits as the Blue Devils forced them into mistakes and left Duke good attacking opportunities.
Proch had a header saved by Andreu Cases Mundet in the sixth minute and then Kristofer Gardarsson’s shot from 15 yards was touched wide by Cases Mundet to keep Duke off the scoreboard.
Duke’s defense was solid with Aedan Stanley doing well to stand tall in the middle. Will Pulisic was forced to make just one save in the opening half with a couple of Demon Deacon chances just missing the frame.
The Blue Devils broke through in the 41st minute when Brandon Williamson collected the cleared Duke corner kick and put it back out to Daniel Wright on the right side. The sophomore midfielder sent a ball to the far post where senior captain Ciaran McKenna headed it home for his second goal of the season.
Wake Forest (10-0-0, 4-0-0) evened the score two minutes later on a header goal from Isaiah Parente. The cross came from Alistair Johnston.
Looking to come out in the second half the way they started the game, the Blue Devils did just that with Proch heading the ball just wide again. Duke earned a corner kick minutes later that Wake Forest cleared away.
The clearance came out to Omir Fernandez who collected, turned and used his pace to beat a pair of Blue Devils for a one-on-one with Pulisic. The sophomore keeper came off his line the best he could, but Fernandez chipped it over for the 2-1 lead.
Wake Forest, after Duke missed on a couple other chances, added a third goal from leading scorer Bruno Lapa from great combination play with Logan Gdula.
Proch appeared to make it a one-goal game in the 72nd, but was whistled for offside as he put away Seth Kuhn’s attempt off the crossbar. Three minutes later Daniel Wright helped make it a one-goal game by drawing a penalty kick. Proch stepped up to the spot and buried his shot for his seventh goal of the year.
Duke continued to press the Demon Deacons and control the run of play and keep Wake Forest on its heels in search of the equalizer. After weathering the storm, the Demon Deacons added a security goal from Machop Chol.
The Blue Devils outshot Wake Forest 16-13. Pulisic finished with one save, while Mundet had five in the 90 minutes.
Duke will look to get back on track Tuesday with a non-conference game against Wofford. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., on Oct. 2 on ACC Network Extra.