#8 Wake Forest Men's Soccer 2013 Preview

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Overall Rank: #8
Conference Rank: #4 ACC
#8 Wake Forest Men's Soccer 2013 Preview
Wake Forest Team Page


The expectations for Wake Forest are always high, so last season was a bit disappointing as the Demon Deacons finished 11-4-5 overall and 4-1-3 in conference play. Much, much more disappointing than the overall record was their performance in the NCAA Tournament. Wake Forest lost their first tournament game to Coastal Carolina. After taking an early lead on a fourth minute goal, the Demon Deacons ended up losing 2-1 in overtime. That is a tough way to lose.

2012 Record: 11-4-5, 4-1-3
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jay Vidovich

There will not be many offenses that are more potent than the one in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Strikers Luca Gimenez, Sean Okoli and Michael Gamble netted 26 of the team’s 40 goals. Gimenez is the experienced senior of the bunch. He tallied seven goals and three assists in 2012, but as his teammates keep improving, he may see fewer goal scoring opportunities this year. But when he does find an opportunity, Gimenez will take advantage. Okoli has been on professional radars for a while now and he did not disappoint during his sophomore season, leading the Deacons with 11 goals. He is tough and quick and should be the top scorer again this time around. Gamble will make that little battle interesting though. He found the back of the net eight times as a freshman. The strikers are partially so productive because of the immense talent in the midfield. Jared Watts has been one of the best in the ACC for the past three years and his senior campaign will be no different. The loss of Collin Martin to the professional ranks does hurt, but there is young talent ready to build around Watts in the middle of the pitch.

If Wake Forest is going to struggle it will be because of the defense. Without starters Anthony Arena, Ben Newman and Danny Wenzel, not to mention defensive midfielder Luciano Delbono and keeper Michael Lisch, the back is going to be extremely young. Sophomore Jalen Robinson is a fine back to build around and Sam Fink and Chris Duvall have some experience and will be counted on to step into a starting role. Between the posts, the starting job will be Andrew Harris’. As a freshman last year Harris stepped into the starting lineup late in the year and performed relatively well against tough competition. The recruiting class has a few players who can help out on defense, but overall this is not as strong of a class as Coach Jay Vidovich brought in for 2012.

Final Projection:
Even though the recruiting class is not as good as last year’s, this is still Wake Forest and the talent is going to come. Whether or not underclassmen are ready to contribute will make the difference between a Demon Deacons squad that competes for an ACC title and a squad that backs its way into the NCAA Tournament and makes another early exit.  

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Sean Okoli, Junior, F, 11
Assists: Michael Gamble, Sophomore, M/F, 4; Jared Watts, Senior, M, 4
Shots: Sean Okoli, Junior, F, 54
Saves: Andrew Harris, Sophomore, GK, 16

Madness 2014 MLS Draft Rankings:
#7 Jared Watts
#15 Sean Okoli
#18 Jalen Robinson
#26 Luca Gimenez
#31 Teddy Mullin
#52 Michael Gamble

Madness 2013 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#72 Jacori Hayes
#100 Ian Harkes
#117 Hunter Bandy
#130 Hayden Partain
#132 Rafael Fagundo


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