Sept. 21, 2012
Box Score | Box Score
CLEMSON, S.C. - No. 17 NC State fell 2-1 (OT) after Clemson rallied to score the tying goal with under a minute remaining in regulation Friday night.
"Obviously this was a disappointing result for us," said NC State head coach Kelly Findley. "We're still a young team, and it's clear we have a lot of growing to do. We need to gain maturity and develop the ability to close out games. We need to be brave enough to play and manage games better. We're going to use this as a learning opportunity, and look forward to seeing how the guys respond."
The Wolfpack (6-3, 0-2 ACC) took a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute behind Zabarle Kollie’s fourth goal of the season. Kollie tracked down a rebound from Jonathan Ray’s shot on the left side of the box, tapping it with his right foot to the far corner of the goal. Ray earned his fourth assist of the year on the play.
State took that 1-0 lead to the locker room, and managed to hold the advantage almost to the buzzer with some stellar defensive play on the back line. Pack goalkeeper Fabian Otte managed to tie a season-high with four saves on the evening, preserving the shutout until the fateful final minute.
As the clock ticked down, Clemson (2-5-2, 1-1-1) mounted several attacks, but it wasn’t until a wild sequence in the 90th minute that the Tigers broke through.
The play started on the far side with a cross to Manolo Sanchez. He headed the ball to Kyle Fisher, whose header went clanging off the crossbar. Austin Savage prevailed in the ensuing scramble, heading the rebound to the right side of the goal. Otte was able to get an outstretched hand on the ball, but Savage’s header had just enough velocity to score.
That play marked the first time this season that the Wolfpack has surrendered a second half lead. The equalizing goal officially came with 48 seconds remaining.
In overtime, State forced the issue early. Monbo Bokar had a ball poked free on a run up the left side. Alex Martinez nearly ended the game with a shot from miles away, taking advantage of Clemson’s goalkeeper drifting out of position.
The Tigers dodged those bullets, and put the game away in the 99th minute. Preston Gayton worked the ball to Sanchez, who raced to the end line before pulling a pass across the goal to Ara Amirkhanian for the game-winner.
NC State returns to action Tuesday, September 25 at 7 p.m. when the Wolfpack plays host to Gardner-Webb. Live stats and streaming coverage for that contest will be available on GoPack.com. Fans can also follow Twitter updates from @PackMensSoccer.