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For the first time since 2009, NC State soccer returned to the national rankings as it prepares for a stiff road test at UNC Greensboro on Friday, September 7 at 8 p.m. before coming home to host Marist at 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 9.
State entered the Soccer America poll ranked No. 20, the NSCAA poll ranked No. 23, and tied for No. 25 in the Soccer Times poll. The Wolfpack represents the only Atlantic Coast Conference squad with a 4-0 record, and one of only three that have yet to be tied or defeated.
UNC Greensboro (3-1-2) will be hosting its first home game of the regular season, Friday. The Spartans enter the contest fresh off of back-to-back, dominating road wins, knocking off UNC Asheville 5-0 on Sunday before dispatching Longwood 4-1 on Tuesday.
Marist (2-2) visits Raleigh on Sunday after rebounding from an 0-2 start with road victories in shutout fashion over New Hampshire and NJIT.
State will hope for more of the same out of Alex Martinez after the junior transfer's MVP performance over the weekend in Durham. Martinez garnered national attention Tuesday by being named to College Soccer News's National Team of the Week.
Though it was Martinez's time to shine at the John Rennie Nike Invitational, the Pack has gotten its scoring punch from a variety of weapons. Nazmi Albadawi, Monbo Bokar, Jonathan Ray, and Zabarle Kollie each have two goals on the season. Danny DiPrima and Sonny Mukungu both scored their first of the year in the Wolfpack's win over Delaware.
The State defense will be anchored by goalkeeper Fabian Otte, whose goals against average sits at a suffocating 0.54 through 335 minutes. The Pack has surrendered only two goals on the year, outscoring opponents 12-2 thus far.
The Wolfpack currently enjoys its best start since 1987 at 4-0. A win in Greensboro would equal the 1987 squad's mark, while a pair of wins would make this the best start since 1982.
Live stats for both contests will be available on GoPack.com. Fans can follow Twitter updates from @PackMensSoccer.