WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season, the seventh-ranked Wake Forest men's soccer team bested Syracuse 3-1 on Saturday night in the annual Genna Wiley Memorial game at Spry Stadium.
Wake Forest moves to 6-1 on the season and 2-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Syracuse, playing its first game since Friday, Sept. 11, falls to 3-2-1 and 0-1-1 in ACC action. Saturday's match was playing in front of 3,454 fans at Spry and the Demon Deacons wore pink jerseys in honor of Genna Wiley.
The Deacs scored three unanswered goals in the contest after the Orange scored in the sixth minute when Miles Robinson beat Wake Forest goalkeeper Alec Ferrell with a header right in front of the mouth of goal. The cross on the goal came from Julian Buescher on a free kick near the Demon Deacon bench.
Wake Forest only trailed for 12 minutes in the contest, though, as Jon Bakero broke through in the 18th minute with his second goal of the season. Bakero took a pass from Michael Gamble about 12 yards out and fired his shot past the diving keeper into the left side of goal to knot the game at 1-1.
The Demon Deacons earned their first lead of the contest 17 minutes later in the 35th minute when Jack Harrison put home a shot from the top of the box that beat the Syracuse keeper to the left side. Harrison took the ball from the right sideline in front of the Orange bench and found an open space from 20 yards out to take his shot, scoring his second goal of the season.
As Syracuse put pressure on the Wake Forest goal throughout the second half looking for the equalizer, the Demon Deacons scored the insurance goal in the 81st minute off the foot of Gamble from the middle of the box. On a counter, Gamble took a pass from Harrison after the freshman had brought the ball down the field and Gamble put his shot into the bottom-left corner. He has now scored in five of the team's last six games and leads the team with five goals overall.
Ferrell got the start between the pipes for the Demon Deacons and made a season-high three saves in the win. The Orange had a sequence of three corner kicks in a row midway through the second half that Ferrell made back-to-back saves on to keep the Deacs up 2-1. Both chances for the Orange were quality opportunities.
Overall, Wake Forest outshot Syracuse 19-11, which included a 9-4 advantage in shots on goal. The Demon Deacons' defensive effort in the second half was solid, as the two teams were even at 10-10 in shots before the back line held the Orange down as it tried to make the comeback.
Wake Forest returns to action Tuesday night, Sept. 22, when it travels to Akron for a 7 p.m. contest against the 2010 national champions. The Zips are currently ranked No. 11 in the NSCAA and Top Drawer Soccer polls and No. 5 in the Soccer America poll.