The Wake Forest Demon Deacons women’s soccer team (6-0) collected yet another victory, this time on the road, traveling to Boone and dispatching of the Appalachian State Mountaineers (2-2-1) with ease by a score of 2-0. Wake were absolutely dominant throughout the game, and the fact that they were held to only two was a minor miracle for the Mountaineers, as a combination of an incredible game from goalkeeper Kerry Eagleston and Wake letting some huge chances go by the wayside kept it that low. It was a sixth consecutive shutout for Wake, setting a new program record for consecutive shutouts, and remaining one of the five teams in the nation who haven’t given up a goal yet this season. With the Deacs continuing to build momentum going into conference play soon, performances like this are very encouraging to see.
The Deacs started piling on App State early in this one, with a flurry of massive early chances, with Shayla Smart getting a great look almost inside the six yard box, but her shot was stopped and Hulda Arnarsdottir collecting the rebound but her shot was blocked by a defender. The ball would come out to Ryanne Brown, who would send the ball across to Nikayla Small whose shot would be saved by Eagleston. Another huge chance would fall to Malaika Meena on the rebound from a shot from distance that hit the crossbar, but she could do nothing but roll the ball into the arms of Eagleston. In the 10th minute Wake would break through, however, with Shayla Smart playing the ball inside to Sofia Rossi, who would play a pretty give and go with Nikayla Small to get beyond Liney Brantley, with Rossi getting inside of Kirsten Seeley and playing it across to Malaika Meena, who had little to do but hit it forward into the open net to give the Deacs the lead.
The chances would keep coming thick and fast for the Deacs with a chip from Sofia Rossi being cleared off the line after Eagleston was caught out of net after a save on Shayla Smart. Two massive chances fell to Shayla Smart and Sofia Rossi after Olivia Cohen tripped over the ball in her own box to give them both good looks, with Smart’s effort saved by Eagleston and the other blocked by a defender. In the 33rd minute, Wake would finally find their second goal, with Sofia Rossi putting through a ridiculous back heel volleyed through ball to Shayla Smart, who would put it across the goal for an easy tap in for Jenna Menta. It was another impressive team goal for Wake who seem to be putting together a collection of them. They would almost add a third a minute later, with Ryanne Brown sending a long ball in behind for Carrie McIntire, who could only roll her effort into the arms of Eagleston. This was their last major chance before the half, with the Deacs leaving the field as the horn sounded after 45 dominant minutes.
The second half started with the Mountaineers settling in a bit more, but the Deacs eventually found their way back in total control, creating even more incredible looks in the second half, and ones that they definitely should have scored. The biggest of the night was a chance for Malaika Meena in a 2v1 versus Eagleston, with the App keeper seemingly giving up on the play, but Meena’s effort from a square ball from Arnarsdottir was hit right at Eagleston’s hand, which she had at her side. Another chance would come soon after for Shayla Smart, who would push her effort just wide of the post from the left side of the box as a defender came across her body. Jenna Menta had a breakaway chance with 14 minutes to go, with her effort pushed wide by Eagleston. Shayla Smart had another big chance saved in the 79th minute. App would not end the game without a chance, with a ball in from a free kick on the left side of the area getting over Kaitlyn Parks and on goal, but App State midfielder Gracie Giacoletto would inadvertently chest it backwards away from the goal, with the follow up effort being blocked into the outside of the net. Ultimately, Wake would ride out the rest of the game to get their 6th win of the year, yet again in dominant fashion.
In another dominant team performance for Wake, player of the match is a tough decision to make. Nikayla Small was excellent again in the middle of the field, looking dangerous every time she went forward. Sofia Rossi and Ryanne Brown also put together good games, creating a bunch of chances for Wake, with Rossi having two assists. Despite these great Wake performances, I feel like you have to give player of the game to Appalachian State goalkeeper Kerry Eagleston, who made 20 saves in this game, and was the big reason that this game wasn’t a total blowout for Wake.
Wake will return to Spry this Thursday to take on Coastal Carolina, with kickoff set for 7:00 PM.