WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Late-game heroics from Jon Bakero propelled No. 2 Wake Forest men's soccer to a 2-1 victory Friday night at Spry Stadium over Notre Dame on Senior Night. The sophomore forward gave the Demon Deacons the win with a goal in the 87th minute, his sixth of the season.
Wake Forest improves to 12-1-2 and 5-0-2 in the ACC, remaining the last team unbeaten in conference play with one ACC game to go next Friday, Oct. 30, against Louisville. Notre Dame falls to 8-3-5 with the defeat.
Bakero's fifth-career game-winner came at the near post when he deflected a pass from Ricky Greensfelderinto the back-left corner of goal. Greensfelder's ball came in from the left side after receiving a pass from Jacori Hayes near the middle of the box. The goal is the latest game-winner of the season, topping Hayes' game-winner in the 84th minute in the season-opener against Santa Clara.
Trailing 1-0 five minutes into the second half, the Demon Deacons knotted the game in the 51st minute whenJack Harrison scored his fifth goal of the year on a shot just below the crossbar. Steven Echevarria set up the chance by taking the ball into the middle of the penalty area. As Notre Dame goalkeeper Chris Hubbard charged out to try to break up the attack, the ball squirted past him to Harrison and he placed his shot out of reach of defenders.
The Demon Deacons conceded their first goal in 543 minutes in the 14th minute when Max Lechowecki fired a shot past Alec Ferrell just inside the right post. After the goal, the Wake Forest defense clamped down on Notre Dame's attack and didn't allow a shot over the next 48:57 of game action, as Notre Dame's next attempt came in the 63rd minute on arguably Notre Dame's best chance of the second half, a header right in front of goal by Jeffrey Farina.
Now with 12 wins on the season, Wake Forest has won 12 games for the first time since the 2009 season when the Deacs won 17 games. Overall in 36 seasons of men's soccer, the Deacs have posted 17 seasons of at least 12 victories.
Around the ACC, Clemson topped Boston College 1-0 on a goal in the eighth minute to keep pace with Wake Forest in the Atlantic Division standings. Overall, Wake Forest has 17 points while Clemson is just one point behind with 16. The Tigers are on the road next Friday against NC State to close the regular season. Additionally, North Carolina topped Louisville 2-1 to clinch the ACC's Coastal Division title. With a win at Virginia next week, the Tar Heels would win the overall ACC title with 21 points in conference play regardless of what the rest of the league does. That game in Charlottesville is also set for Friday, Oct. 30.
Wake Forest returns to action Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the regular season home finale. Battling the Davidson Wildcats, Wake Forest has won each of the last 16 contests dating back to Oct. 19, 1997. Over the course of the last seven matchups against the Wildcats, the Deacs have outscored Davidson 24-3.