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Sep 14, 2012

Jay Vidovich discusses tonight’s match-up with UNC, ACC realignment

We spoke with Wake Forest head coach Jay Vidovich Friday morning on a number of topics, including tonight’s huge match against top-ranked North Carolina, Tuesday’s heartbreaking double overtime loss to Louisville and the anticipated arrival of Notre Dame to the ACC. The Demon Deacons are travelling to Chapel Hill tonight to face the Tarheels, who are coming off their first loss of the season to James Madison Tuesday night.

On Tuesday night’s 3-2 (2OT) loss to Louisville 

Wake Forest had gone unbeaten (3-0-1) in its first four regular season matches, but their streak came to an end when Louisville midfielder Ryan Smith dropped in his second goal of the season late in overtime Tuesday night. The loss was disheartening for the Demon Deacons, but ultimately not as costly as losing a conference match.

Coach Vidovich said the team is looking forward to getting back on the field.

“It hurt, there’s no doubt about it. We clawed our way back and showed some resiliency against a good team in Louisville, and I felt we took the game over. We felt the goal we gave up was a bit of a soft goal, so it hurt but we’re ready to move on to Chapel Hill and learn from that experience.”

On tonight’s match-up with UNC

Wake Forest is in a brutal stretch of its schedule, having to play three games in seven days on the road against harsh opponents. To make matters worse, the Deacs went into double overtime in each of the first two legs of the road stint. Having not won a game yet on the trip, Coach Vidovich is eager to get back in the win column but knows he has to monitor his team’s energy level to account for fatigue.

“You push different people different ways. There’s certain guys we push differently but overall we’re pretty fit and haven’t had any issues with overtime. I think both teams would like to have another day physically to prepare, but I also don’t think either of us are happy with how things went Tuesday night, so the sooner the better.”

For the Demon Deacons, finding their first conference win of the season in Chapel Hill is going to be a huge challenge. UNC hasn’t lost at home in more than two years, and have proven this year that they can win in a variety of ways. The offense has had its ups and downs, but the ups have been flashes of brilliance.  Meanwhile, the Tarheel back line has allowed just two goals in the team’s first five matches.

“Limiting their attacking play,” Coach Vidovich said is the main focus against the Tarheels. “They have some key players on their attack with Mikey Lopez and Martin Murphy and a bunch of other guys.”

“At the same time, they haven’t given up very many goals at all,” he continued. “They’re very stingy and they’re very organized. Carlos (Somoano) has some quality defenders so I think it’s going to be a real tight game. Someone’s going to have to find a big goal tonight.”

On Notre Dame joining the ACC

Notre Dame and the ACC announced Tuesday that the school had official plans to join the league for all sports except American football, but there was no specific timetable announced. Coach Vidovich told Soccer Wire that he was ecstatic when he heard the news.

“I’m excited to have another quality soccer program in the league. What Coach (Bobby) Clark stands for, the way he played the game and what he does for his program is fantastic. They have tremendous abilities and strong history of the game and it fits in perfectly for the ACC. The way I see it , it will help us out in many different ways.”