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Wake Forest Falls to Stanford in National Championship Match

Stanford emerged victorious after penalty kicks.

NCAA Soccer: Men's College Cup-Stanford vs Wake Forest Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons played the Stanford Cardinal to a scoreless draw for 110 minutes, and the national championship match came down to penalty kicks. Stanford made 10 consecutive penalty kicks on Friday evening to defeat the North Carolina Tar Heels 10-9 in PK’s to advance to the national final, but missed the 4th attempt against the Deacs in the championship match.

Wake Forest, who kicked second, had an opportunity to win the national title when Hayden Partain stood over the ball, but Stanford’s Andrew Epstein made the save. Stanford converted on the subsequent kick, which forced Wake Forest into a must-make situation. Ultimately, Brad Dunwell’s shot was saved by Andrew Epstein, and Stanford repeated as national champions. The Deacs were eliminated in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season by the Stanford Cardinal, with last year’s defeat coming in the Elite 8.

Despite the loss, the team had an unbelievable season. The squad finished the 2016 season with a record of 19-3-3 and won an ACC Championship. They beat an undefeated Denver team to make the championship match, and they took the defending champs to the wire. They made every Wake Forest supporter incredibly proud to be a Demon Deacon. The program will lose a number of talented players in Ian Harkes, Jacori Hayes, and Alec Ferrell, but this program will be back. Make no mistake about it.