WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Lauren Hein and Jenn Partenheimer scored first-half goals, Kelsey Kearney turned in a fine effort in the net and UNCG weathered a late rally as the Spartans stunned No. 10 Wake Forest on Monday, 2-1.
The Spartans (2-0-0) knocked off their third ranked opponent in the last three seasons, and the second from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Last year, UNCG downed then-No. 11 Duke, 1-0, on Aug. 28. The year before that, the Spartans shocked then-No. 15 Santa Clara, 1-0, on Sept. 12, 2008.
The Demon Deacons (1-1-0) are the highest-ranked opponent UNCG has beaten since topping then-No. 9 Duke, 2-0, during the 2000 season.
"We were pleased with our first-half performance," coach Eddie Radwanski said. "And in the second half, our defensive group really did an outstanding job in staying together and staying organized against a talented Wake team. Our games with Wake are always close. They deserve their top-10 ranking, but our kids rose to the occasion and were able to put together a solid performance to get the win."
|Coach Eddie Radwanski talks about UNCG's win over No. 10 Wake Forest|
|Watch Jenn Partenheimer's goal against No. 10 Wake Forest.|
Partenheimer, who scored UNCG's lone goal in last year's 2-1 loss to Wake Forest, made it a 2-0 lead in the 29th minute on a free kick. Hein touched the ball to Partenheimer, who volleyed home the strike to put the visitors up by a pair.
The Spartans' early lead could have been three goals, but Tabitha Padgett's shot in the 24th minute was cleared off the line by a Wake Forest defender for the team save.
The Demon Deacons had a chance to cut their deficit in half in the 31st minute, but Bianca D'Agostino missed her penalty kick.
The Deacs would keep Kearney busy on the evening, drawing another penalty kick in the 83rd minute. Wake capitalized on its chance this time, however, as freshman Rachel Nuzzolese buried the free kick to make it a 2-1 contest with just minutes left to play.
Wake Forest would keep the pressure on, getting off three shots and earning a corner kick in the final four minutes, but UNCG survived for the win.
UNCG played aggressively, committing 17 fouls to Wake Forest's eight. Both sides drew a pair of yellow cards, as well.
Kearney made five stops on the evening. Her counterpart, freshman Aubrey Bledsoe, made three saves.
"Kelsey was outstanding in goal," Radwanski said. "To have her in the net just gives our team a tremendous amount of confidence. She's a great leader and a gifted athlete. Kelsey is slowly but surely proving that she is one of the top goalkeepers in the country. Having her in the back and then that front line of Lauren Hein and Tabitha, we were very dangerous today."
The loss snapped the Deacons' 17-match winning streak against nonconference opponents from the state of North Carolina. Prior to Monday night's upset, Wake's last loss to a nonconference North Carolina school came in the 2003 NCAA tournament - also at the hands of UNCG.
The Spartans, who have won their first two games for the first time since 2007, will look to make it three in a row when they take on Utah at the Georgia Nike Invitational in Athens, Ga., on Sunday, Aug. 29. Game time is set for 11 a.m.
UNCG 2, Wake Forest 1
UNCG 2 0 2
Wake Forest 0 1 1
1 10:58 UNCG Lauren Hein (1) (Kory Spotts;Cat Barnekow)
2 28:21 UNCG Jenn Partenheimer (1) (Lauren Hein)
3 82:53 WF Rachel Nuzzolese (2)
Shots: UNCG 8, Wake Forest 18
Saves: UNCG 5 (Kelsey Kearney 5), Wake Forest 4 (Aubrey Bledsoe 3; TEAM 1)
Corner kicks: UNCG 4, Wake Forest 5
Fouls: UNCG 17, Wake Forest 8
- UNCG -