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Nov. 3, 2010
CARY, N.C. – Fueled by a pair of second-half goals from freshman Jackie McSally, fifth-seeded Wake Forest slipped past fourth-seeded Florida State, 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Soccer Championship on Wednesday at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The Demon Deacons (12-7-1) earned a spot opposite top-seeded North Carolina (17-2-1) in Friday’s 5 p.m. quarterfinal game. The Seminoles (13-5-1), who entered the game ranked as high as ninth nationally, are expected to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when the bracket is released around 4:30 p.m. on Monday.
“I am extremely pleased with my team today,” Wake Forest coach Tony da Luz said. “I give credit to (Florida State coach) Mark (Krikorian) and his team, a very talented program, and I have much respect for Mark. We are very proud to being playing on Friday and look forward to the opportunity to play North Carolina."
The Seminoles played without most of their regular-season starters, including seven players who earned first- or second-team All-ACC honors.
“It was a coach’s decision,” Krikorian explained. “We have 25 outstanding players at Florida State, and we thought that this was the best opportunity for us to be successful. We consider all the factors whenever we make every decision.
“Our players’ health and welfare are the most important things for us at Florida State. We have a plentiful roster and a lot of talent, and the players we had today did a great job.”
Krikorian thought his team, which closed within 2-1 on Katya Gokhman’s goal early in the second half, acquitted itself well.
“We got some players some valuable experience. They competed well against a great Wake Forest team. I thought it was a good, solid performance from start to finish.”
Striking early in a first half that was sometimes played in a light drizzle, Wake Forest got onto the scoreboard just under nine minutes into the second half. Senor Bianca D’Agostino took a pass from Marisa Park and lined a 19-yard shot from the center of the pitch into the upper right-hand corner of the goal.
The Deacons’ 1-0 lead held up until intermission. A would-be Wake Forest goal with just under 2:30 remaining in the first half was nullified by an offsides penalty.
But Wake Forest quickly made it 2-0 a little over three minutes into the second half. McSally took passes from Katie Stengel and Jordan Feger and knocked in her first goal of the season. Then, after FSU closed within 2-1, McSally headed in a cross from Jackie Logue for the 3-1 lead that stood up until the end.
"Bianca (D'Agostino) got hurt early in the game and we decided to move Jackie (McSally) into an attacking midfielder role,” da Luz said. “She showed really good instincts to get in the box, and we know that she can hit the ball. She had a great header goal and made some good runs forward. We are lucky that Jackie stepped up to fill in very well."
The Deacons reached the semifinals for the first time since 2007. Friday’s semifinal game will be a rematch of last Sunday’s regular-season finale at Wake Forest, which the third-ranked Tar Heels won by a 2-0 score.