Denver Falls to Wake Forest in NCAA College Cup

Denver's Andre Shinyashiki (photo by Troy Taormina, USA Today)
Denver's Andre Shinyashiki (photo by Troy Taormina, USA Today)

NCAA Bracket 


HOUSTON (AP) -- Ian Harkes scored in the 102nd minute and Wake Forest outlasted Denver 2-1 in double overtime Friday to advance to the College Cup title game.

Wake Forest (19-3-2) will face the Stanford-North Carolina winner in the championship Sunday. The Demon Deacons reached the championship game for the first time since winning the 2007 title.

Harkes calmly slotted his low finish past goalkeeper Nick Gardner into the bottom corner.

Wake Forest's Jon Bakero opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Bakero took possession from Denver defender Graham Smith 30 yards from goal in the center of the field, turned to his right and delivered a curling effort past Gardner.

Trailing for only the fourth time this season, the Pioneers (20-1-3) responded 10 minutes later. Graham Smithsent a lofted pass over the defense to forward Andre Shinyashiki, who pounced on a rebound to equalize after his first shot was saved by goalkeeper Alec Ferrell. It was Shinyashiki's team-high ninth goal of the season.

Wake Forest coach Bobby Muuss coached and recruited Denver's Jamie Franks to play for the Demon Deacons in 2005 as an assistant. Muuss then took his first head coaching job in Denver in 2007. Franks joined his former coach's staff and became the head coach of the Pioneers when Muuss moved to Wake Forest.

Postgame Notes

  • Denver is 59-13-11 over the last four years, the third-best record in the country during that span.
  • The Pioneers are 35-2-6 under second year head coach Jamie Franks. 

ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Celebrating its 35th season of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 80 Academic All-Americans, 75 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.

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