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College Cup Semifinals Rewind: Wake Forest, Stanford to meet in title game

Photo via ACC, Wake Forest.

Photo via ACC, Wake Forest.

The 2016 College Cup final is set after Friday night’s thrilling semifinals.

No. 2 Wake Forest pulled out a dramatic victory in overtime over No. 6 Denver to set up a meeting with No. 5 Stanford in Sunday’s championship game.

The Demon Deacons earned a 2-1 win over Denver to book their spot in the championship. Jon Bakero opened the scoring after just seven minutes, but the Pioneers equalized shortly thereafter through Andre Shinyashiki after his initial shot was saved by goalkeeper Alec Ferrell.

The rest of the match was a stalemate as both sides exchanged chances. It wasn’t until the second half of overtime when Wake Forest pounced. Off a Denver corner, the Deacs countered and Ian Harkes sealed the team’s first appearance in the championship since 2007. The Pioneers, meanwhile, suffered their first loss of the season.

In the second semifinal, Stanford’s stingy defense came in handy again as the Cardinal defeated No. 9 North Carolina 10-9 in a penalty shootout following a 0-0 draw after overtime.

The shootout was as tense as they come, with both teams converting their first nine attempts. However, the Tar Heels’ next shot went sailing over the bar, securing the Cardinal’s spot in the championship.

If Stanford wins on Sunday, it would become the first back-to-back champions since 2004, when Indiana accomplished the feat.

Here’s a closer look at the results from the semifinal matches:

(2) Wake Forest 2, 0 (6) Denver

(5) Stanford 0, 0 (9) North Carolina (Stanford wins 10-9 on penalties)

1 comment
  • AzTeXan

    My notes from last night:

    1. Wake Forest deserved winners. Forest were on top to start the match before Denver started to compete in the remainder of half one. Forest had Denver on the ropes in the second half, including a goal line clearance from #12 on Denver. Denver was ultimately undone by a driven, low short corner that led to the GWG by Harkes on the counter for Forest. I did not realize College used Golden Goal extra time rules until the Forest players were storming the pitch.

    2. Stanford/UNC both seems more physically imposing than their counterparts from game 1. Game seemed even through out and into both extra time periods. Great penalty shootout. All the takes were quality until the last one.

    3. Was hoping the crowd would be much better than the crowds in Kansas City last year. Looked like about 3K fans or the equivalent of the inaugural Dash crowd for their 2014 expansion year. Each team’s supporters traveled well, Denver and Stanford in particular (at least where I was sitting). Lots of youth players, including Dallas Texans, so I’m guessing there’s a tournament going on right now. Lot’s of HS looking guys in letterman jackets. A small number of Dynamo fans (at least those wearing orange) sprinkled in. Very disappointing to see so many complaints from the media about the atmosphere without at least qualifying the the turnout was better than last year.

    4. According to wikipedia, last year’s games had 4K attendances. Were none of them on the side of the field the cameras were pointing to? Did everyone stay home because it was cold? Shocked by those numbers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_NCAA_Division_I_Men%27s_Soccer_Championship

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