Nov. 11, 2011
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Anne Berschbach made a career-high 13 saves, for the Oakland women's soccer team (10-11-1) in a 2-0 loss to No. 1-seed Wake Forest (15-3-4) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at Spry Stadium. The Demon Deacons outshot OU 27-2.
"I am very proud of what our team has accomplished over the year," said Oakland head coach Nick O'Shea. "It was a tough game. Wake Forest is a good team. They are big, fast and moved the ball well. Our girls did well, but good teams make good plays and they scored twice to earn the win."
Oakland held Wake Forest at bay for the first 30 minutes, before Katie Stengel scored in the 34th minute. The Demon Deacons played the ball wide to Alisha Woodson came forward from her left-back position and drove in a low cross to Stengel who redirected the ball into the roof of the net. It was the 15th goal of the season for the ACC Offensive Player of the Year.
The Golden Grizzlies continued to battle in the second half, getting forward in search of an equalizer. The result remained in the balance until the 80th minute when Rachel Nuzzloese scored on a square pass from Stengel. It was the 11th goal of the season for Nuzzolese. The 36th point of the season was also a school record for Stengel, surpassing her 2010 effort.
Berschbach was called on early and often making six first-half saves and seven in the second half. Several times in the first-half the OU goalkeeper made diving saves including a diving stop on a header to the far post by Stengel. Perhaps the best save of the night came in the second hit a hard volley from the right side that Berschbach grabbed and held onto without allowing a rebound.
"I was really pumped up for this game," said Berschbach. "I knew that we would all have to work extremely hard to try and make it to the next round. I was just seeing things really well tonight. It was intimidating playing a team like Wake Forest, but these girls [on the Oakland team] have done great things and we did our best tonight."
Sarah Lynch had the best scoring chance for Oakland in the 82nd minute when she headed the ball wide of the right post from a Julianne Boyle corner kick. Kyla Kellerman had the only other shot for OU in the first half, forcing a save from Aubrey Bledsoe in goal for Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons finished the night with a 15-1 advantage in shots on goal. Bledsoe earned her 12th shutout of the season for WFU.
"It's been a great year for Oakland soccer," concluded O'Shea. "These women who have worked so hard to accomplish what they have."
Oakland won its seventh Summit League Championship this season. The Golden Grizzlies were the first No. 4 seed ever to win the league championship and advanced to the sixth NCAA Tournament for the program since 2001.