The Wake Forest Soccer team is in the middle of a four-game winning streak to start the season. They recently defeated Florida Gulf Coast away and Presbyterian in Winston to secure their unanimous first place rankings.
It's unanimous: the Deacs are No. 1 in the country.— Wake Men's Soccer (@WakeMSoccer) September 4, 2018
Wake Forest has been ranked in the top five in 23-straight @UnitedCoaches Polls dating back to mid-2016. The next closest has been in the top five for TWO weeks, a whopping 21 less than the Deacons. #GoDeacs pic.twitter.com/vUVmkDgbR5
In both games the Deacs displayed a high-scoring offense combining to outscore their opponents by an overall score of 7-2. Midfielder Bruno Lapa has been on fire the last couple games scoring four times and adding an assist as well. Lapa has been the kind of offensive player that this Wake Forest team needed coming into the season, after losing Bakero, Twumasi and Servania to the pros this offseason. Lapa leads the team with 14 points in five goals and four assists during the first four games of the season.
83' | STAY HOT, BRUNO LAPA! He pickpockets a Presbyterian defender in the box and taps it into the back of the net. Make it five goals and four assists for him this year. 4-1 Wake Forest! pic.twitter.com/viCmceUrP8— Wake Men's Soccer (@WakeMSoccer) September 5, 2018
Other big contributors were Sophomores Justin McMaster and Machop Chol. Both have been pegged by pundits as potential breakout candidates for this season and so far they have lived up to their potential. McMaster has been the most consistent of the two with three scores, while Chol has been dealing with injuries to start the season and is yet to be at 100%. Omir Fernandez also contributed with two scored and one assist so far.
A more discrete contributor is St. John’s transfer Alistair Johnston. He netted three assists over the last two games and has been a solid defensive presence at midfield, the kind of player Coach Muuss covets coming off the bench.
Moving on to the defensive side of the ball, the Demon Deacons haven’t been the most consistent squad on defense this season. Wake Forest has yet to shutout an opponent this season, a feat they achieved nine times during the 2017 season. Overall, they are an above average defensive team, having allowed 5 scores during their four-game winning streak. Due to Wake’s explosive offense, they have been able to get away with some defensive miscues this season, however they will now face a much bigger challenge in NC State.
The Wolfpack are ranked No. 4 in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer. They have only allowed two scores this season, including a shutout win against, at the time, No. 2 Akron by 2-0. Their two most talented players are Manny Perez and Gabriel Machado. Perez will not face the Deacs as he was called up to the U.S U-20 National Team. The NC State Forward is one of the best passers in all college soccer, with an outstanding field vision. Gabriel Machado on the other hand, is the team’s leading scorer with two goals. The Junior Midfielder has also been recently elected the National Player of the Week by TopDrawerSoccer.
NC State’s Gabriel Machado Earns Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week. Wolfpack soccer is straight fire right now! https://t.co/BzTgEoN6Ph— PackInsider.com (@PackInsider) September 5, 2018
Wake Forest will play NC State on Friday, Sept. 7 at 7:00 at Spry Stadium in what should be the a great game between two top 5 teams. It will be interesting to see which one will prevail, Wake Forest’s powerful offense or NC State’s disciplined defense. Expect a great atmosphere at Spry Stadium on Friday night.
Stay tuned for more Wake Forest sports news, and as always Go Deacs!