Opara's first career goal lets No. 1 Wake Forest grab 1-1 tie with Elon.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Tuesday, October 2, 2007) -- Reserve freshman defender Ike Opara scored his first collegiate goal late to allow No. 1 Wake Forest to salvage a 1-1 draw with visiting Elon before 767 at Spry Stadium tonight.
Elon now is 5-3-2 after stretching its unbeaten streak to seven (4-0-3) in the non-conference contest that handed Wake (7-0-1), an NCAA Division I tournament semifinalist in 2006, the first blemish to its record.
Ten minutes after entering, Opara, operating in a crowd, knocked home a corner kick by freshman midfielder Corben Bone with 16:30 remaining.
Elon took a 1-0 lead and sent the Deamon Deacons to their first halftime deficit of the season on a goal by sophomore striker Justin Wyatt with 42:22 elapsed. Wyatt's blast went to the top left corner of the goal from 15 yards out. Senior forward Brett Paschall started the sequence with a pass to freshman midfielder Brad Franks, who then sent a cross to Wyatt for his sixth goal of the season.
"The boys played extremely hard tonight," Elon coach Darren Powell said. "We scored a good goal to take the lead just before the half and fought well in the second half against a quality Wake Forest squad. We were able to bounce back after giving up the goal and play well enough to secure the tie."
WFU outshot 18-5, the Phoenix 18-5, 6-2 on frame, with Elon goalkeeper Clint Irwin making a couple of nice stops among his five saves. Sophomore Akiri Fitzgerald made one stop in the Wake net.
Irwin "really kept them in the game," WFU coach Jay Vidovich said. "He made some great saves and he's got a lot of talent."
WFU has outscored opponents 18-3 this season and had recorded shutouts in its four previous outings.
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