#11 Wake Forest Women's Soccer 2014 Preview

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Overall Rank: #11
#6 ACC
#11 Wake Forest Women's Soccer 2014 Preview
Wake Forest Team Page


The fact that Wake Forest is predicted as our sixth best team in the ACC, but 11th nationally just shows the depth and greatness of that conference. The Demon Deacons made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to top-ranked and conference rival Virginia. It's the farthest the squad had been since 2011. Wake Forest will look to continue a stretch of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances that stretches back to 1998.

2013 Record: 12-7-2, 5-6-2
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tony da Luz

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Riley Ridgik, Senior, M, 11
Assists: Riley Ridgik, Senior, M, 4
Shots: Riley Ridgik, Senior, M, 26
Saves: None

Other Key Returnees: F Caroline Wootten, M Taylor Waters, M Kendall Fischlein, M Sarah Teegarden, D Kim Marshall

Key Losses: F Katie Stengel, M Ally Berry, M Annick McBryar, D Jackie McSally, D Caralee Keppler GK Aubrey Bledsoe

The good thing for the Demon Deacons is they welcome back leading scorer Riley Ridgik. She scored 11 goals on 26 shots on goal. She also finished with four assists, which was good for third on the team. Teammate Caroline Wootten returns after scoring three goals and assisting on three others. It's a young team, with 16 of the players being either freshmen or sophomores, but luckily for the squad, many of the sophomores received valuable playing time as freshmen. It's almost as if strength in numbers is something Wake Forest can look forward to.

While the squad brings back Ridgik, it loses its next two top scorers Katie Stengel and Ally Berry. The two combined to score 10 goals and dish out 13 assists. That isn't as possibly scary as the goalkeeper position. Wake Forest loses its All-American goalie Aubrey Bledsoe, who played all 1,961 minutes last year, saved 76 shots, had eight shutouts and racked up an average goals against of 0.87. What makes it scary is that of the three goalies on the squad, only junior Sarah Small has seen action. Small played in one matched for just over four minutes two years ago. The two other goalies on the roster, Lindsay Preston and Taylor Kerxton, were both four-star recruits coming out of high school.

Final Projection:
Replacing Stengel, Berry and Bledsoe will be key for the Demon Deacons. Knowing they were losing such offensive firepower, the team brought in six forwards or midfielders in its nine-player class. Included in that group is Claudia Day, who was Alabama's Gatorade Player of the Year. Five players were four stars and Maddie Huster was rated No. 21 overall in the IMG ratings.  Along with the tough ACC slate, the Demon Deacons also face defending National Champion UCLA and Georgetown, which also made the NCAA Tournament. Luckily for the squad it will have seven games under its belt before it faces either team.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.48 (129th in nation, 8th in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 0.872 (59, 5)
Shutout Percentage: 0.381 (87, 6)
Save Percentage:  0.800 (108, 3)

Madness 2014 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#28 Maddie Huster
#93 Pilar Torres
#96 Allyson Haran


See All College Sports Madness Top 44 Women's Soccer Previews