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)