NCAA D-I Soccer Rankings: Wake Forest Moves Up To No. 2 After Upsetting North Carolina

Wake Forest (11-1-2) moved up to three spots to No. 2 in the most recent NSCAA poll with its 1-0 shutout victory over then-No. 2 North Carolina on Sunday. The Demon Deacons also sit atop of the NCAA RPI rankings.

Junior midfielder Jacori Hayes scored the lone goal in Wake Forest's upset of No.2 North Carolina 1-0. Hayes goal came in the 17th minute of the game. He has three goals and four assists this season.
Junior midfielder Jacori Hayes scored the lone goal in Wake Forest's upset of No.2 North Carolina 1-0. Hayes goal came in the 17th minute of the game. He has three goals and four assists this season (photo courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics).

Wake Forest earned its first victory over North Carolina since 2008, according to Wake Forest Athletics, when junior midfielder Jacori Hayes put the ball in the back of the net in the 17th minute. It was Hayes' third goal of the season, and all have been game-winners. The game was played in front of a school record 5,070 fans.

Hours after moving up in the poll, the Demon Deacons won their eighth straight game with a 5-0 victory over Georgia State (6-6) on October 20. Wake Forest got goals from five different players, including sophomore defender Kris Reeves and freshman midfielder Brad Dunwell's first collegiate goals.

Wake Forest outshot Georgia State 20-6, including a 14-3 advantage in shots on goal. The Panthers didn't record its first shot until the 24th minute on a long-range attempt.

The Demon Deacons have now recorded five straight shutouts, which is a school record -- Clemson was last team to score a goal against Wake (September 26). With the victory, Wake Forest matched its most wins in a season since 2012.

With two games left in ACC play, Wake Forest leads the Atlantic Division with 14 points (4-0-2). No. 4 Clemson (12-1-2, 4-1-1 ACC) is second in the division, while No. 6 North Carolina (12-1-1, 5-1-0 ACC) sits atop the Coastal Division. The Deacons hosts No. 8 Notre Dame (8-2-4) on October 23, Davidson on October 27, before traveling to Louisville on October 30.

Wake Forest received two first place votes in Week 8 and 561 total points. The Demon Deacons are 35 points behind Creighton (14-0-0), which earned the top spot in the NSCAA poll for the seventh consecutive week. Creighton is one of two Division I teams that are undefeated, though the Blue Jays are the only unblemished team.

Overall, the ACC has seven teams ranked in the Top-25 and four of the top-five teams in the RPI.

    1. Creighton. The Bluejays are currently tied for the national lead with 32 total goals, and are tied for second nationally for fewest goals allowed (6).
    2. Wake Forest.
    3. Stanford (11-1-1). The Cardinal are unbeaten in its last 12 matches. Stanford was No. 3 last week and received one first place vote.
    4. Clemson (12-1-2). Junior Austen Burnikel scored two goals as the Tigers defeated Georgia Southern on October 20.
    5. Akron (10-2-1). The Zips, who have won six straight, moved up one spot in the poll.
    6. North Carolina (12-1-1). The Tar Heels scored a season-high six goals in their 6-1 victory over Campbell (5-7) on 10/20. North Carolina's loss to Wake Forest snapped its 16-game winning streak. Dropped four places.
    7. Denver (11-0-2). The Pioneers are the only other undefeated Division I squad. Moved up one spot.
    8. Notre Dame (8-2-5). The Fighting Irish earned its eighth straight result, drawing Northwestern (1-1) on 10/20. Notre Dame, which played its fifth straight overtime contest, outshot Northwestern 39-7. Moved down one spot.
    9. Georgetown (9-2-2). The Hoyas have won seven in a row and are 9-0-1 in their last 10.
    10. Elon (12-3-0). The Phoenix moved up one spot in the poll, however, they fell to Duke (2-1) in overtime on 10/20.
    11. Coastal Carolina (10-1-1). The Chanticleers moved up two places in the poll. Coastal Carolina won their third straight with a 2-1 victory over No. 22 Hofstra on 10/19.
    12. SMU (10-2-2). The Mustangs moved up nine spots.
    13. South Florida (9-3-1). The Bulls moved down one spot.
    14. Old Dominion (7-2-1). The Monarchs dropped five places.
    15. Syracuse (9-4-2). The Orange, who moved up one spot, have only one win in their last four matches after tying Hartford (2-2) on 10/20.
Syracuse sophomore midfielder Julian Buescher tallied two goals against Hartford as the Orange tied the Hawks 2-2 on October 20. It was Buescher's second multi-goal game of the season and his seventh goal of the year.
Syracuse sophomore midfielder Julian Buescher scored both of the Orange's goals against Hartford (photo courtesy of Syracuse Athletics)
  1. Kentucky (8-3-1). The Wildcats moved up one spot.
  2. Washington (6-2-5). The Huskies moved up three spots.
  3. Ohio State (8-4-2). The Buckeyes moved into the poll this week.
  4. Seattle (12-3).
  5. Maryland (6-3-4).
  6. Virginia (8-3-2).
  7. South Carolina (7-5-1).
  8. Cal Poly (8-3-3).
  9. Hofstra (10-5-0).
  10. Monmouth (9-3-3).
[Photo by Clive Miller / Getty Images]