#14 Wake Forest Men's Soccer 2014 Preview

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Overall Rank: #14
#5 ACC
#14 Wake Forest Men's Soccer 2014 Preview
Wake Forest Team Page


Wake Forest jumped out to a solid 6-2 start last year but faded a bit down the stretch. Still, when the Atlantic Coast Conference season arrived the Demon Deacons were among the elite schools in the league. Wake Forest made the third round of the NCAA tournament a year ago before it lost to Notre Dame, and it appears the tools are in place for another successful season in North Carolina.

2013 Record: 10-6-5, 6-1-4
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jay Vidovich

Returning Leaders:
Goals: 6 tied with 1
Assists: Ian Harkes, Sophomore, M, 7
Shots: Ian Harkes, Sophomore, M, 21
Saves: Alec Ferrell, Sophomore, GK, 38

Other Key Returnees: F Tane Gent, M Ricky Greensfelder, M Jacori Hayes, D Sam Fink, GK Andrew Harris

Key Losses: F Sean Okoli, M/F Luca Gimenez, F Andy Lubahn, M/F Michael Gamble, M Jared Watts, D Tolani Ibikunle, D Philip Parker, M Ross Tomaselli

The Wake Forest midfield is pretty solid with players like Ian Harkes, Ricky Greensfelder and Jacori Hayes on duty. Also, the Demon Deacons have two solid keepers returning in Alec Ferrell and Andrew Harris, so Wake Forest should be fairly solid once again. Harkes in particular is a solid presence, as he often feeds other players with shots and helps to drive the offensive attack. With the exception of Notre Dame, Wake Forest’s ACC schedule has been very successful with wins against some fairly good programs.

Although the Demon Deacons do have some solid talent returning, Coach Jay Vidovich hopes he has a team that scores. Sean Okoli, Luca Gimenez, Andy Lubahn and Michael Gamble accounted for two-thirds of the 39 goals scored by Wake Forest last season, so that will be a lot of offense to replace. With the departures of all of these top players plus Philip Parker, Harkes may find the going rough for a bit as opposing teams mark Harkes fiercely. Expect to see a lot of pressure on Harkes in an effort to deny him the chance to pass the ball ahead to teammates.

Final Projection:
Although Wake Forest lost a lot of offense, there should still be enough in the tank to do well against some programs. The Demon Deacons bulked up the first part of their schedule to include teams like UCLA, California and Connecticut, so there may be a couple losses earlier in the season. Still, if it gives Wake Forest more push come tournament time, Coach Vidovich will be happy to take it. Wake Forest should be among the title contenders once again in the ACC and another trip to the postseason is a likely bet.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.86 (22nd in nation, 4th in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 1.17 (84, 8)
Shutout Percentage: 0.24 (120, 11)
Save Percentage:  0.729 (131, 9)

Madness 2014 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#10 Steven Echevarria
#18 Kevin Politz


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