Wake Forest slips by Campbell 2-1 in pre-season match

Eduardo Rodriguez 
(Bennett Scarborough photo)
Eduardo Rodriguez (Bennett Scarborough photo)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Wake Forest scored two second half goals and defeated Campbell 2-1 in the pre-season men's soccer opener for both teams Saturday at the Eakes Athletic Complex.


In a game played under wet conditions, the 17th-ranked Demon Deacons scored twice in a 17-minute span early in the second half to earn the victory.


Luca Gimenez set up the first goal; then scored what proved to be the winner for Wake, which returned seven starters from last year's squad that finished 11-4-5 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA College Cup.


Keeper Ethan Hall made 10 saves and Isaiah Page found the net for the Camels, who have nine starters back from the 2012 unit that finished 12-5-2.


"Wake Forest is a very good team, and overall I'm pleased with how the game went," said fourth-year Campbell head coach Steve Armas.  "We look at these exhibitions as an opportunity to try different things.  We actually played well for spots tonight.  As we become more accustomed with each other, those moments will come together on a more consistent basis.  Now our focus shifts back to training and building on those positive moments."


A back-and-forth first half produced several chances, but few shots, for both teams.  Ricki Gaez hit a low effort in the 13th minute that forced Wake keeper Andrew Harris to dive to his right for a save that produced a Campbell corner kick.


Campbell held a 4-1 edge in shots at the break.  However, Wake brought All-ACC forwards Sean Okoli and Gimenez off the bench for the second half and the Deacons out-shot the hosts 11-3 over the final 45 minutes.


Less than five minutes into the second period, the Deacons broke in front when Gimenez slid a pass in the box to Teddy Mullin, whose left-footed blast beat Hall to the far post.


Hall then steered away a pair of point-blank chances by Gimenez and Okoli in the first 15 minutes of the second half to keep the deficit at one.


A counter attack down the left flank produced the equalizer for the Camels.  Back-up keeper Alec Ferrell was able to get a hand on Jhuvon Francis' shot, but Page volleyed in the rebound at the right post to equalize just over 66 minutes into the contest.


Just 31 seconds later, however, Wake Forest was back in front thanks to a through ball from Rafael Fagundo that Gimenez deposited in the net.


All 12 of Wake Forest's shots were on target Saturday night, while Campbell finished with four of its seven attempts on goal.


Campbell concludes its exhibition schedule next Saturday (Aug. 24) with a 2:00 p.m. kick-off at George Mason.  The Camels host NC State on Fri., Aug. 30 in the regular-season opener.