Hometown hero

Schilawski scores game-winner to lift Wake Forest in championship

Wake Forest 2 Ohio State 1

Men's soccer

December 17, 2007

CARY, N.C. -- Zack Schilawski always dreamed of scoring big goals in his hometown.

He delivered the biggest one of his career there yesterday, scoring the eventual game-winner to lift Wake Forest to a 2-1 victory over Ohio State in the NCAA College Cup championship.

"It's unbelievable," said Schilawski, who graduated from Cary High. "Growing up here, I've seen a lot of great games on that field. It's a thrill just to be a part of a game like that, much less to win it. It was perfect."

Schilawski broke a 1-1 tie with a goal in the 77th minute to help his team win the first NCAA men's soccer title in school history. The second-seeded Demon Deacons (22-2-2), who had been 0-2-1 when trailing at halftime this season, rallied from a 1-0 deficit.

Fifth-seeded Ohio State (17-4-5), which was playing in the College Cup for the first time, entered the contest undefeated when scoring first and unbeaten when leading at halftime. But the Buckeyes couldn't hold on after Roger Espinoza gave them a lead with a goal in the 13th minute, and their school-record 15-game unbeaten streak came to an end.

Ohio State owned a 12-3 advantage in shots during the first half, but the Demon Deacons dominated play in the second period while outshooting the Buckeyes 9-0.

Schilawski scored against Ohio State on a feed from Marcus Tracy.

Tracy powered his way through two defenders on the right flank, then juked past Doug Verhoff before crossing a pass to the middle of the field. Schilawski beat Buckeyes goalkeeper Casey Latchem with a one-hop shot just inside the right post.

Latchem argued that Tracy had touched the ball with his hand early in the sequence.

Tracy, who tied the game in the 66th minute with a goal on a feed from Cody Arnoux, saw the play differently.

"I don't think it was a handball personally, and they didn't call it. So that's just the way it goes," said Tracy, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Offensive Player.

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