Wake Forest soccer unites Winston-Salem

When one attends a soccer game, difficulty parking is not usually something to suspect. Now that the Wake Forest Demon Deacons are ranked number one in the nation, parking lots tend to crowd up very quickly, especially when the College Cup (championship) is on the line.

The Demon Deacons this year made it as far as the elite eight where they lost to Stanford in a heartbreaker with the game going into overtime. The Demon Deacons received a first round bye due to their number one ranking and then tagged on a 1-0 win against UNC Charlotte and then a 1-0 win against Indiana in the Sweet Sixteen.

Although the Demon Deacons have been knocked out, that does not mean that these games were not fun to attend and watch.

“Wake games are fun to attend because you get to go with friends,” junior and varsity soccer goalkeeper Jackson LaBrecque said. “It’s also a time to watch and take notes to improve yourself as a soccer player.”

The last game against Stanford set a new Wake Forest home soccer attendance record with 4906 fans packing Spry Stadium.

There are several factors to take into account when you look at Wake Forest and why they are number one in the nation.

“Their ability to possess and be dangerous on the wings made them a tough team to play against,” UNC Charlotte soccer player MacLean Holbrook said.

Another factor that relates to their winning success was new head coach Bobby Muuss.

“Coach Muuss has done an outstanding job of getting the best out of these guys.  He recognized the challenges and the needs and adjusted/corrected them quickly so that our players could excel,” Assistant Wake Forest soccer coach Dave Brenner said.

You cannot just credit Wake Forest’s success to the staff and the players, but also to the teams they challenge as well.  Wake Forest is in the Atlantic Coastal Conference and four out of the eight teams left in the college playoff were from this conference.

“The ACC is the best conference in the country and most competitive because the schools in the conference are some of the best in the country.  Each school attracts the best players from across the nation so the competition week in and week out is the best around,” Brenner said.

Wake Forest’s drive is what fueled their fire according to Brenner.  They were not pleased with how they have played over the past few years and they wanted to prove people wrong this year and that is exactly what they did.

“That inner-drive is what I think really compelled them to reach another level,” Brenner said.