WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Michael Gamble notched his second goal of the season as the 20th-ranked Wake Forest men’s soccer team topped No. 19 Florida Gulf Coast 1-0 on Saturday night at Spry Stadium.
The Demon Deacons improved to 3-0 on the season while FGCU dropped to 0-1-1. The 3-0 start for the Deacs is the best start since Wake Forest opened the 2012 season with the same record.
Gamble’s goal came in the 17th minute on a nice connection between he, Jacori Hayes and Jon Bakero. Bakero sent the ball into the box from the right side and found Hayes, who then found Gamble on the weak side alone from 15 yards out. Gamble’s bending shot over the hard-charging FGCU goalkeeper dipped just below the crossbar and in.
Wake Forest held the Eagles without a shot in the first half and ultimately outshot Florida Gulf Coast 13-5 in the contest. Wake Forest also mustered seven corner kicks to FGCU’s one. The only Florida Gulf Coast corner kick of the match came with less than 12 minutes to play in the game, and the chance was quickly cleared by the Deacon defense.
Aside from the goal, the Deacs had numerous high-quality chances to score in the contest. Tane Gent came off the bench in the first half and had two chances in front of goal, but both were challenged by defenders to keep the ball out of the back of the net. In the second half, Gamble had two more chances that had a similar lead-up to the goal, but FGCU goalkeeper Nathan Ingham made two great saves to keep the Eagles down by the lone goal.
Wake Forest returns to action Tuesday night to close out its four-match homestand to open the season. On Tuesday, the Deacs will take on UNCA at 7 p.m. After Tuesday’s contest, Wake Forest will open Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday, Sept. 12, on the road against Pittsburgh. First kick for the contest against the Panthers is set for 7 p.m. as well.
On Tuesday night, Wake Forest will go for its best start to a season since the 2008 campaign, when the Deacs won 13 straight contests. The Demon Deacons also won seven games in a row to open the season in 2007 during the national championship run.