Statistics are useful in many regards for soccer - to determine the strength of a particular player or figuring out who dominated the game whether in shots or time of possession. But statistics are also misleading in soccer - someone looking at the box score between Wake Forest and Hofstra, for example, could be forgiven for thinking that the Deacs controlled the game offensively and just couldn't get lucky, outshooting the Pride 19-8 but just barely leading 4-3 in shots on goals to end the game with a 1-0 loss - their first in seven games at Spry Stadium.
Despite outshooting the Pride 8-5 in the first half, the Deacs seemed to lack any sort of offensive energy and failed to make an impression on either end of the pitch. Michael Gamble was everywhere in the attacking third as usual but just couldn't seem to make anything count. Sam Fink and Ian Harkes also kept chipping away at Hofstra keeper Patric Pray but didn't come close to breaking through and getting Wake on the scoreboard.
The Pride would be the first ones to get onto the board in the 48th minute when Fink made a questionable play in the box, earning himself a yellow card and giving Hofstra a penalty kick right in front of the goal. Maid Memic set himself up for a can't miss shot against Alec Ferrell and didn't miss, giving the Pride a 1-0 lead. From there, no one could do much of anything offensively or get a really strong attack going forward, leading to a back and forth contest with no winners.
In the dying minutes of the second half, Tane Gent looked as if he would be the one to finally break through the Hofstra goaline but just couldn't manage to find the back of the net. As the clock ran out, Ferrell came off his line - way off - to join the Deacs on a corner kick but nothing materialized as Wake fell 1-0 to Hofstra. The Spry Fortress, home to six straight wins, showed the first chink in its armor as the Demon Deacons couldn't protect it to pick up their first home loss in seven tries.
An extra few days off lay ahead for the Demon Deacons as they have a chance to rest and reflect on just what didn't work for them against Hofstra. They'll hit the road to face Syracuse on Friday, Oct. 10 for another ACC contest - one that looks increasingly important given the result of tonight's contest. With the ACC Men's Soccer Championship under a month away, the Deacs sit in third place in the Atlantic Division and their tough slate ahead can only prove challenging to earning a first-round bye. From here on out, every game is going to count just a little bit more for the Demon Deacons and if they want to make a presence known to earn themselves a spot in the College Cup, things need to get better - and fast.