Oct. 26, 2012
Box Score | Box Score
RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State battled fourth-ranked North Carolina for 63 scoreless minutes and outshot the Tar Heels 15-10, but eventually dropped a 2-0 decision on Friday night at Dail Soccer Field.
"Our guys played their roles very well, with a very disciplined approach," said NC State head coach Kelly Findley. "We had a solid team effort, and I don't think the score reflects that effort or the way the game progressed. We're certainly looking forward to continued progress as a group."
The Wolfpack (9-8, 1-6 ACC) utilized a sterling defensive effort to keep the game competitive while the offense struggled to find its footing in the early moments. That back line had to withstand six corners in the first half, including one that hit the crossbar before being cleared away in the 25th minute.
In the 31st minute, North Carolina (13-2-1, 5-1-1) had a chance from point blank, only to be robbed by an outstanding defensive performance. On that play, a turnover at midfield set up a situation that forced goalkeeper Fabian Otte out of the box. Otte dove at the feet UNC's Andy Craven, just as the attacker floated a shot toward the right corner of the net. At the last second, Sonny Mukungu slid in to clear the ball off the line and preserve the scoreless tie.
Despite a flurry of offensive chances for the Pack in the closing minutes of the half, both teams went to the locker room without a goal. State had its best opportunity to take control shortly after the break, when Nazmi Albadawi and Moss Jackson-Atogi each had looks at the goal after a pair of Danny DiPrima corners.
The game swung into UNC's favor in the 64th minute when Rob Lovejoy scored his fourth goal of the year, set up by Martin Murphy's assist. Murphy served up a free kick to Lovejoy after a stoppage in play, which Lovejoy deposited in the right corner of the Wolfpack goal.
The Pack tried to rally to even the score, producing a number of quality chances. The 73rd minute saw the State offense practically set up shop in the Tar Heel zone. UNC's defense lived up to its reputation as one of the best in the nation by turning the Pack away emptyhanded. State outshot UNC 12-5 in the second half.
Danny Garcia's goal in the 86th minute sealed the game for the Tar Heels. Lovejoy worked the ball to Garcia on the left side of the State box and Garcia did the rest, slipping a shot from eight yards just inside the near post.
NC State returns to action on Monday, October 29 as it plays host to VMI. Kickoff for that game is slated for 7 p.m. Streaming coverage will be provided by ESPN3, live stats will be available on GoPack.com, and fans can follow Twitter updates from @PackMensSoccer.