DURHAM, N.C. - NC State soccer roared back from an early deficit to preserve its perfect record, defeating Santa Clara 2-1 behind goals from Zabarle Kollie and Alex Martinez at the John Rennie Nike Invitational, Sunday.
"I'm really pleased with the weekend, and I'm most impressed with our focus through a rain delay against a very good Santa Clara team," said NC State head coach Kelly Findley. "The mentality from our full roster showed the most character. Everyone knew their role, performed it well, and did whatever they could to help us win."
Santa Clara (1-2) landed the first blow when Carlos Montes scored to the right corner from 15 yards in the fifth minute. Erik Hurtado assisted on the play.
The Pack (4-0) would have to wait for the equalizer, but it finally came in the 37th minute when Kollie cashed in on a one-on-one situation, set up by Nazmi Albadawi's assist. The goal marks Kollie's second of the season, the assist by Albadawi was his second as well.
After going to the locker room tied 1-1, State stormed out of the gate in the second when Alex Martinez scored his second goal of the year on a low shot to the left corner in the 47th minute. That lead would hold up for the duration, spanning a weather delay in the 65th minute.
NC State reaches 4-0 for the first time since 1987 with the win. That squad added a fifth win before having its season-opening streak snapped.
"We had a lot of guys that could have made it, but the four that were named are well-deserved," said Findley. "Fabian had a great weekend back in goal, Johnny had some good goals, Alex did everything we thought he could do, and Gbenga's making some great progress in a new position."
The Wolfpack returns to action Friday, September 7 with a road trip to UNC Greensboro. Kick off time for that contest is scheduled for 8 p.m. Live stats will be available at GoPack.com, and fans can follow Twitter updates from @PackMensSoccer.