Katie Stengel Sets High Standards At Wake Forest - By Amy Farnum Patronis

Photos Courtesy of Brian Westerholt/Sports On Film

Photos Courtesy of Brian Westerholt/Sports On Film -

Wake Forest forward Katie Stengel is already the most accomplished player in school history, but she’s far from done yet. 

The senior from Melbourne, Fla., is the program’s all-time leading scorer with 48 goals and 117 points in 68 games as a Demon Deacon.  Stengel is a three-time All-America selection, and the only player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to lead the league in goals scored in both her freshman and sophomore seasons.

Last year as a junior, while she didn’t top the ACC, Stengel led Wake Forest with nine goals scored despite missing the first eight games of the season because she was in Japan busy playing for the U.S. U-20 National Team as they claimed the FIFA U-20 World Cup title.  With four goals in the first five games of the 2013 season, she has a legitimate shot at becoming the first ACC player in 15 years to net 60 career tallies.

“She’s raised the level of standards within the team and the team culture,” Wake Forest head coach Tony da Luz said.  “I don’t think you’re going to find another player who has had as much of an impact on a program as Katie has.”

While Stengel may have been a late bloomer in the soccer world, not making her first National Team (U-18) until she was a senior in high school, her development over the last four years has been a positive experience for the entire Wake Forest program.

“She’s grown during the whole process of going to all of the camps with the U-20 team and brought those experiences back to our team,” da Luz said.  “Every camp she went to she gained new perspective and new standards after being with all the National Team players.  I think it has a great influence on our team and program as whole.”

“(Playing internationally has) helped with my pre-game ritual so I can stay calm and be confident and have good expectations on how I should play,” Stengel said.  “Playing against all types of players with different styles has helped me in the college game because I’m ready for more.  There is such a high caliber player at the international level that I come back to everyday training and expect to compete at that high level every time.”

Being a part of the U-20 squad also gave Stengel memories that rivaled Wake Forest’s 2011 trip to the Women’s College Cup as the best of her career.

“I’d never even thought about winning a World Cup on the world stage,” Stengel said.  “That was really cool and something I will always cherish because it was incredible to win that tournament after working so hard for so many years.”

Stengel likes to play as technically clean as possible, but can also take on players physically because of her size and build.  She tops the team in both goals (4) and assists (4) this season, and da Luz loves the versatility of his star player.

“She can beat you in so many different ways,” da Luz said.  “She’s not a one-dimensional player. She’s developed more of her game over the years and added different things.  She’s a very good back-to-goal player and she can turn with the ball probably better than anyone in the country.  She’s got enough speed to run with the ball into space and outrun opponents without the ball, and now she’s added in a little more of an air game and free kicks.”

Stengel has netted game-winning goals three times this season, including an overtime score against North Texas and the Deacons’ lone tally on the road at Washington.  But she also contributed key assists, including a helper on Caroline Wotton’s game-tying goal in Wake’s come-from-behind defeat of No. 15 Portland on Sept. 8.

“Over the years, she’s worked on rounding herself out and making herself more dangerous so teams can’t focus in on one thing,” da Luz said.

Stengel is not just well-rounded on the field.  She carries a 3.41 grade point average and has garnered All-ACC Academic Team honors in each of her first three seasons.  Stengel is also co-captain of the squad and a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, which honors Division I student-athletes who exhibit strong attributes in the community, classroom, character and competition.

With a boost from Stengel and a senior-laden squad, Wake Forest is off to the first perfect non-conference start (5-0-0) in program history.  Not too shabby, considering da Luz designed the schedule to land a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament if the team did well.  It has also prepared them for the ultra-competitive ACC slate.

“You have to play tough teams in the non-conference season in order to get ready for the ACC otherwise it’s going to be a huge competitive shock to your team,” da Luz said.

The No. 7 Demon Deacons are one of seven ACC teams ranked in the NSCAA Division I Top 25, and one of five league squads ranked in the top eight.

“The program has always been up there, but in the past few years we’ve progressed even higher,” Stengel said.  “It’s pretty cool to help make Wake Forest a common name and be respected in the women’s soccer world.”

Wake Forest opens up ACC action on Thursday as the Demon Deacons host No. 4 Florida State (5-0-1) at 7 p.m.  They then host Miami on Sunday.

Amy Farnum Patronis is a contributing writer for College Soccer News covering Division I women's soccer.  She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

College Soccer News Roundtable

College Soccer News Lightning Round.  We are just a couple of weeks into the 2013 season but thought it might be interesting to ask a few of College Soccer New's contributing writers to provide a few brief and quick comments regarding what has transpired to date. 

What are your thoughts after the first two weeks of play?  

Bob B.  - Things will likely settle down somewhat as teams gel but so far this has been a season of surprises.   Who would have thought that Indiana would be 1-3-0, that Maryland would be 1-2-1, and that Georgetown would be 2-2-0.   I think it's also noteworthy that attendance at venues across the country has been impressive and I'm not just referring to places like Maryland and Creighton.  Monmouth had a school record crowd of 4,042 on hand at The Great Lawn when they played Seton Hall.   

Amy P. - (Women's Soccer) - It's not difficult to surmise that the ACC and the Pac-12 are the elite conferences.  Top-ranked North Carolina proved it was ready to defend last year's NCAA title as the Tar Heels improved to 6-0-0 after nipping number three UCLA, 1-0, on September 6 and taking care of business with a 4-2 victory over number nine West Virginia two days later.  The 2012 Hermann Trophy winner Crystal Dunn has tallied six of the Tar Heels' sixteen goals and is well on her way to another stellar season.

But while the Tar Heels are still on top this season, it doesn't mean they won't be knocked off, especially with teams like Virginia, Florida State, Wake Forest and Notre Dame on the schedule.  And that's just the ACC foes ranked in the Top 10.  Virginia has outscored its last five opponents 21-1.  FSU posted quality wins over Florida and UCF.  Wake Forest is off to its best non-conference start (5-0-0) in program history.  And Notre Dame's only setback was a 1-0 loss to UCLA.  I have a feeling there will be a lot of close games when ACC action gets underway on Thursday. 

Stanford and UCLA are once again the cream of the crop in the Pac-12.  The Cardinal is unbeaten with their only "blemish" a 1-1 tie against perennial contender Portland, while UCLA put together a 5-1 mark despite a brutal schedule that included three consecutive away games against Notre Dame, UNC, and Duke.

Chris T. - It's been an interesting start on the men's side, as many of the college soccer powerhouses are exactly where we'd expect them to be.  However, Indiana's third straight defeat on Sunday will have the Hoosiers worried, especially as they are defending College Cup champions and were expected to dominate this year.  It's still early days for all the teams, and while some will be where they expected to be, others have plenty of room for improvement. 

Matty B. - I don't want to over simplify things but it's tough to travel cross country early in the season and get a good result so I believe that has been a factor in some of the early upsets.  Teams are still playing their way into shape, sorting things out organizationally, and the newcomers are adjusting  which often results in inconsistent play.      

Having said that, I have been surprised at the number of highly regarded teams that have been upset at home.   Maryland allowing VCU to score three goals in the final thirteen minutes to come from behind to win 3-2 was amazing.  That's pretty rare for a Sasho Cirovski coached team.  It brought to mind Maryland's 3-2 overtime loss to Bradley in the 2007 NCAA Tourney at Ludwig Field when the Terps allowed Bradley to score twice in the last three minutes to tie the match and then Bradley won it 3-2 in overtime.    

Louisville losing at home 1-0 to Butler after opening the season with a 2-1 win at Virginia was also a surprise.  Ditto that for UCSB losing to Gonzaga 2-0 at Harder Stadium after opening the season with wins on the road over Northwestern and UIC.  I was also surprised that UCLA was thumped 3-0 by the Mustangs from Cal Poly after UCLA started the season on the road with a scoreless  tie with Notre Dame and a 1-0 win over Indiana.  It is a little ironic that UCLA and UCSB face each other in Los Angeles on Friday, September 13.

John S. - It's early in the season but so far things are looking up for the west coast teams.  California is 3-0-0, Cal State Northridge is 4-0-0, Washington is 3-0-0 and UC Riverside is 4-0-0 with a win over a good Bradley team.  UCLA (1-1-1) is going to win a lot of games despite the loss to Cal Poly and remains the flagship team of the west coast.  UCSB has some things to sort out based on their performance against Gonzaga.  Both UCLA and UCSB received wake up calls so it will be interesting how they react.  Stanford (1-1-1) is clearly a team on the rise but they need to put a few more wins on the board before I jump on their bandwagon.   

Could you mention a couple players that have captured your attention?

Bob B. - Pete Caringi's eight goals in four games for UMBC has been impressive.   Notre Dame has three goals and all of them have come from Leon Brown.  Tyler Engel has clearly been a great addition at North Carolina particularly with Andy Craven and Rob Lovejoy out due to injury.  James Rogers and Michael Calderon are taking care of business at New Mexico.  I also have been impressed with the play of sophomore forward Cristian Mata at Tulsa and junior forward Sagi Lev-Ari at Cal State Northridge. 

Amy P. - (Women's Soccer) - There are several first-year players making an impact throughout the country.  In her first year of collegiate action, St. John's sophomore Rachel Daly leads the nation with eleven goals, sparking the Red Storm to a 6-0-0 start - their best since 2004.  I've already talked about UCLA's Darian Jenkins in last week's feature - she has netted five goals against a pretty imposing slate of opponents.  Oklahoma State freshman Courtney Dike tallied her sixth goal of the year against FSU, forcing a tie against the Seminoles and ending their twenty-one game home winning streak.  And I don't want to leave out cal Poly sophomore Elise Krieghoff, who has tallied ten goals and one assist as the Mustangs have jumped out to a 4-0-0 start.  She was last year's Big West Freshman of the Year and has already claimed three straight player of the week awards from the conference.  

Chris T. - Brandon Allen of Georgetown has started very well despite some inconsistent play from the Hoyas.  Allen spent the summer with the United States U-20 team, and while that affected his fitness in early games he has been in superb form recently.  Not only that, but as he is just a sophomore there is still plenty of developing left for him to do on the soccer field. 

Matty B. - Clemson is a much stronger team with midfielder Thomas McNamara in the lineup.   He is going to be a difference maker for the Tigers.  Forward Giuseppe Gentile has been very productive at Charlotte. Sophomore forward Larry Ndjock put four in the back of the net for Loyola University last week.  Ndjock's the real deal.  Keep an eye on junior midfielder Roberto Alterio at FIU.  He is going to add an additional dimension to their attack.     

John S. - Defender Steve Birnbaum is making an impact at California.   Defender Boyd Okwuonu has been rock solid at North Carolina.  Senior back Taylor Peay with the hat trick has made his presence known at Washington. 

What about a few teams that have attracted your attention. 

Bob B. - Clearly California and their season opening wins over Georgetown and Maryland.  Cal is a great program but this is a team that has been absent from the NCAA Tourney for the past two seasons.  New Mexico lost a ton of talent but they are looking really good.  Clemson is off to a great start and picked up a solid ACC win when they topped Virginia.   Cal State Northridge is undefeated but they have a big test coming up when they travel to Albuquerque to tangle with New Mexico on Sunday, September 22.   

Amy P. - (Women's Soccer) - I think Baylor could make some waves in the Big 12.  The Bears took UNC to penalty kicks in last year's NCAA quarterfinals before the Tar Heels ousted them.  Baylor extended its unbeaten streak to twenty-seven games with a 0-0 tie against Texas A and M over the weekend and has allowed just one goal in the first six games of the season. 

Matty B.  - UAB is off to a great start with wins over VCU, High Point, and Indiana.  The fact that Indiana is 1-3-0 to date has taken a little of the glow off that win but nonetheless UAB is off to a great start.  North Carolina has played well to date particularly when you take into consideration the holes that they had to plug and the injuries they are dealing with on the offensive side of the ball.  They have as good a backline as anyone in the country but their attack has been suspect at times in the past.   Tulsa is another team to keep an eye on.  They opened the season with a loss on the road to Creighton but since then have wins over Drake, Ohio State and a very good SIUE team.  This is a vintage Tom McIntosh Golden Hurricane team which means they are going to put the ball in the back of the net a lot. 

John S. - Saint Louis is an interesting side this year.  The Billikens have self destructed in the past so the jury is still out but this is a team that moves as well off the ball as anyone and has  great touch on the ball.  Robert Kristo and Kingsley Brice are goal scorers and guys like Alex Sweetin and William Hidalgo are very capable players.  I see Saint Louis as a work in progress with a very high upside if they effectively combine their individual talents.  The Billikens play  Evansville on the road followed by a game at home with Denver.  If they play to their potential they should win those games which will set up a big match with Connecticut in Storrs.  I also like Washington.  They have a lot of momentum going into a gut check game on Tuesday, September 10 with Connecticut in Storrs.   Washington is as effective as any team in the country out of set pieces which is a big plus.      


What Happened At A Glance - Friday September 6, 2013


Creighton 3 - Columbia 1 -  A crowd of 5,102 was present at Morrison Stadium as part of Socctoberfest.  Senior Sean Kim scored in the first half for Creighton.  David Najem found the back of the net for Columbia in the 55th minute to tie it at 1-1.  Sophomore Timo Pitter and freshman Ricardo Perez scored to make it 3-1 Creighton. The Bluejays improve to 3-0-0. 

UAB 2 - Indiana 1 - Indiana took a 1-0 lead on a goal from A.J. Corrado in the 52nd minute.  UAB was awarded a penalty kick with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Diego Navarette converted the penalty kick for the Blazers. UAB got the win when Rami Dajani sloted a header into the back of the net with seventeen seconds remaining in the first overtime period.  

Georgetown 3 - West Virginia 0 - Sophomore forward Brandon Allen scored twice and contributed an assist for the Hoyas.  Freshman Bakie Goodman netted the third Georgetown goal.  The Hoyas improve to 2-1 and will host New Mexico on Sunday.  

Connecticut 1 - Boston University 0 - A crowd of over 4,000 was on hand at Morrone Stadium as junior Edir DaGraca netted the lone goal of the night in the 40th minute off an assist from Mamadou Diouf to give the Huskies the edge they needed to secure the win and improve to 2-0-0. Connecticut had a 19 to 8 advantage in shots.  Andre Blake had one save in goal in route to recording the shutout for UConn. 

Maryland 3 - Duke 1 - CSN's Chris Teale was among a record crowd of over 8,000 at Ludwig Field as the Terps came from behind to top the Blue Devils on goals from Tsubasa Endoh, Helge Leikvang, and Patrick Mullins.  Seth Davis netted the lone Duke goal out of a set piece in the 25th minute of the match. 

St. John's 2 - Akron 1 - This one required double overtime to determine a winner.  Eric Stevenson got the Zips on the board in the 71st minute when he fired a bullet into the back left corner of the frame from twenty yards out.  The Johnnies tied it at 1-1 three minutes later compliments of a Josh Godec goal at point blank range after receiving a cross from Jelani Williams.  Jimmy Mulligan converted a penalty kick in the 106th minute of play that enabled St. John's to secure the win.  

Saint Louis 4 - Cincinnati 0 - Defender Julian Gieseke opened the scoring in the 18th minute of play when he converted a header out of a corner kick served in by David Graydon.  Graydon made it 2-0 when he scored out of a free kick.  Adnan Gabeljic and Francisco Vizcaino netted the other two goals for the Billikens who improve to 2-0-0. Cincinnati drops to 0-3-0.  

Gonzaga 2 - UC Santa Barbara 0 - The Gaucho attack struggled in this one.  Gonzaga's Clark Phillips scored out of a throw in in the 29th minute with an assist from forward Conner Bevans.  Ben Striar netted the insurance goal from sixteen yards out for Gonzaga in the 82nd minute of play.  Gonzaga improves to 1-1-0 while UCSB drops to 2-1-0.  

Charlotte 2 - Coastal Carolina 1 - Giuseppe Gentile converted a header after receiving a cross frm Brandt Bronico in the 53rd minute.  Pedro Ribeiro knotted the socre at 1-1 out of a corner kick in the 68th minute.  It was Ribeiro's 21st career goal.  Aidan Kirkbride netted the game winning goal for the 49ers on an impressive sliding shot that came out of a counter attack in the 73rd minute from twelve yards out.  It was a solid on the road win for a Charlotte side that was upset at home on Tuesday 1-0 by UNC Greensboro.  

New Mexico 1 - VCU 1 - James Roberts scored for the Lobos in the 44th minute of play with an assist from teammate James Wypych who made a nice move down the left side of the pitch before sending a pass into Roberts.  VCU netted the equalizer in the 56th minute with Devon Fisher finding the back of the net after receiving a pass from Isaac Iwusu.  Both teams were scoreless in two overtime periods.  

Tulsa 4 - Ohio State 1 - Tulsa head coach Tom McIntosh recored his 200th career win behind goals from Cristian Mata, Bryce Follensbee, Tony Rocha, and Akeil Barrett. Christian Soldat netted the lone Ohio State goal in the 53rd minute of play.  The Golden Hurricane have a big one on Sunday when they host a very talented SIUE team.  

Washington 4 - Portland 1 - A very productive offensvie showing for a Washington side that continues to be very dangerous out of restarts. Mason Robertson netted a header for the Huskies out of a free kick from ten yards out in the 9th minute.  Justin Schmidt converted a header at close range out of a throw in to make it 2-0 in the 45th minute.  Taylor Peay added the thrid goal in the 50th minute of play from five yards out.  Ian Lange added the final Washington goal in the 65th minute out of a corner kick served in by James Moberg.  Eddie Sanchez scored he lone goal for the Pilots in the 53rd minute.  Opportunity knocks for the Huskies who travel east to face Connecticut next Tuesday.  

Clemson 2 - Virginia 0 - The Cavaliers found the going rough at Historic Riggs Field in their 2013 ACC opener.  Brown transfer Thomas McNamara scored out of a free kick for the Tigers in the 27th minute.  Ara Amirkhanian one-timed a shot into the back of the net to score the insurance goal for Clemson in the 39th minute after receiving a through ball from teammate Manolo Sanchez.   Virginia drops to 1-2-0 while Clemson improves to 3-0-0.

Virginia Tech 2 - Syracuse 1 - The Orange come out on the short end in their first match in ACC play.  Nick Perea converted a penalty kick in the 17th minute to give Syracuse the early lead but Virginia Tech came back on a goal by Robert Alberti in the 86th minute to knot the score at 1-1 and send the contest into overtime.  Kai Marshall sent a blast into the back of the net to score the game winner for the Hokies in overtime off an assist from teammate Brandon Eaton.  Goalkeeper Kyle Renfroe had three saves in goal for Virginia Tech.  Alex Bono had seven saves in goal for Syracuse.  The Orange drops to 2-1-0 while Virginia Tech improves to 2-1-0.  

Michigan State 1 - Oregon State 0 - Defender Ryan Thelen tallied the lone goal of the game for the Spartans slotting a ball just inside the back post in the 59h minute of the match out of a corner kick.  Zach Bennett had three saves in goal to record the shutout for Michigan State.

Marquette 3 - Bowling Green 0 - The Golden Eagles got into the win column for the first time this year with this result.  All three goals came in the second stanza of play. Adam Lysak, Louis Bennett II, and C. Notley netted the scores for Marquette.  Charlie Lyon had five saves in goal for the Golden Eagles who are now 1-1-1.  

Brown 1 - Bryant 0 - Senior forward Voltaire Escalona placed a shot into the top left corner of the frame in the 67th minute after chesting and controling a centering pass from teammate Jose Salama to give Brown the edge they needed to win their season opener in the Ocean State Classic at Stevenson Field.  

Michigan 1 - South Florida 1 - A crowd of 1,846 was present in Ann Arbor at U-M soccer stadium.  South Florida drew first blood when Stiven Salinas converted a picture perfect backheel from six yards out after receiving a cross from teammate Wesley Charpie.  Junior midfielder TJ Van Slooten scored for Michigan in the 62nd minute of play to tie it at 1-1.  Both Michigan and South Florida are now 1-0-2.  

FDU 3 - Princeton 0 - The crowd at University Stadium in Teaneck enjoyed this one.  Junior forward Nico Wright sloted a shot into the lower-left corner out of a corner kick in the 26th minute of play to make it FDU 1-0.  Dantse Dantse converted a header to make it 2-0 FDU.  Junior Martin Lukaschit tallied the final score of the evening finding the lower left corner of the goal from the right side of the box in the 86th minute of play.The Knights are 3-0-0 for the first time since the 2005 season.  

Monmouth 1 - Seton Hall 1 - Neither team scored during the first half of play.  Seton Hall got on the scoreboard in the 72nd minute when Mateusz Brela scored out of a corner kick played in by Victor Manosalvas.  Junior back Emmanuel Senyah Agyemang netted the equalizer for the Hawks with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Seton Hall had a 12-9 advantage in shots for the evening. 

DePaul 3 - UIC 1 -  DePaul secured a solid on the road win.  Jalen Harvey scored out of a corner kick a little less than three minutes into the game.  Kyle Lindberg scored for UIC to knot the score at 1-1 in the 20th minute of play.  The score remained tied at intermission.  Joe Brinckwirth and Pat Flynn scored for DePaul in the second half.   

Presbyterian 2 - UNC Wilmington 1 - Josh Carter scored twice to lead Presbyterian to an impressive come from behind on the road win over the Seahawks.  David Sizemore scored the lone goal of the evening for UNC Wilmington in the fourth minute of play.   

N.C. State 1 - Pitt 0 - The Wolfpack got the game winning goal in the fourth minute of overtime when Nick Surkamp placed a header into the net off a double assist from Gbenga Makinde and Clement Simonin.  Gbenga served in the corner to the far post which Simonin redirected with a header to Surkamp who completed the play.  NC State outshot Pitt 19 to 6 for the evening.  Fabian Otte had two saves in goal for the Pack to record his tenth career clean sheet.