Despite dominating Duke offensively in the first half, with Wake outshooting the Blue Devils 12-2, it seemed like nothing would break for the Deacs. But just two minutes before the end of the first half, Ian Harkes was fouled outside the box and given a free kick that Sam Fink would head home to make it 1-0 Wake as the first 45 minutes elapsed.
Duke pulled one back five minutes into the second half when Nick Palodichuk connected on a pass from Zach Mathers to catch Wake keeper Alec Ferrell unaware from 20 yards out to make it 1-1. But Wake wasn't quite done scoring yet as freshman Jon Bakero blasted a 25-yard shot to give the lead back to the Deacs at 2-1 just three minutes later. "I'm really excited for my first career goal," Bakero said. "I've only been here for two months so I'm really happy about it and I'm really happy about the win."
Jared Odenbeck added to the tally by picking up his second goal of the season with a jaw-dropping shot from 15 yards out from Tane Gent and Hank Gauger in the 73rd. "It was one of those that you just hit and you know right away it’s going in," Odenbeck said. "It’s funny because we’ve been practicing those in training all the time where the balls come out to you bouncing a little bit and you just hit it first time. Me and Ian have been working on that a lot, it’s just one of those things that you work on in training and it pays off in the game."
Putting the nail in the coffin with just over five minutes left in regulation was Gent, beating the keeper in a one-on-one situation after being fed the pass from Hayden Partain to make it a 4-1 final. The ACC's top offense showed just why they lead in pretty much every category with four goals, 23 shots and 10 shots on goal throughout the game, while Duke, who has only allowed four second-half goals so far this season gave up three in the second 45. "I think it’s a collective effort," Odenbeck said on the secret to Wake's offensive success. "Obviously Michael Gamble has been fantastic with all the goals that he’s had but we have a lot of people that don’t get a lot of credit that put in a lot of good work up front. It’s a collective effort, all from passing, pushing plays in behind and a lot of chances."
A win over Duke is always a good thing for Wake Forest but the last time the men's soccer team got that result, it was 2009 - meaning none of the current Deacs have gotten that chance to defeat their in-state rivals. For Fink, this win has been a long time coming. "I think in the past years we’ve come away thinking we were the better team but they just battled a little bit harder than us," Fink said. "Tonight I thought we were the better team and battled better. I think we wanted to win it more than they did and we had a lot of heart. I think this is a stepping stone going into the next ACC game, Hofstra on Monday. This is just a foundation to push and get more results."
The Deacs won't have much time to relax as they turn around and host Hofstra at 7 pm on Monday, Oct. 6. After that, they'll hit the road to take on Syracuse on Friday, Oct. 10.