State's Late Comeback Falls Short against No. 11 Portland
Aug. 24, 2014
RALEIGH – The NC State women’s soccer team dropped a close decision to the visiting No. 11 Portland Pilots on Sunday afternoon, falling by a final score of 2-1 at Dail Soccer Field.
In the first start of her career, freshman Kayla Saager scored the first goal of her career with the Pack facing a 2-0 deficit in the 82nd minute. State battled hard over the course of the final eight minutes but was unable to find the equalizer.
Portland narrowly outshot NC State, recording 13 attempts to the Wolfpack’s 11. Four of these came from Danica Evans, who scored both goals for the Pilots.
Fan Vote: Wolfpack Woman of the Match
“The better team won today, but we played them tough,” said NC State head coach Tim Santoro. “In the first 20 minutes of the second half, they (Portland) were very good, and that’s when the goals came.
“We battled back at the end, but you can’t rely on comebacks all season if you’re going to win games against good teams.”
Following a very even first half, the Pilots found the back of the net in the 52nd and 61st minutes, quickly making the match 2-0 early in the second half.
State stepped up its offensive pressure over the latter stages of the match, recording six total shots in the final 20 minutes.
In the 82nd minute of the match, Brittany Stanko found Saager running up the field just 25 yards from goal. Following a nice pass, Saager was able to shoulder her way past two Portland defenders and hit a hard shot past goalkeeper Hanna de Haan and just inside the far post to pull the Pack within one.
“Kayla is a handful up front,” Santoro added. “She’s a strong, powerful player, and she can finish. That’s a talent you don’t coach. She has a knack for the goal.”
Caroline Gentry nearly equalized for the Wolfpack, recording headers on frame in the 82nd and 89th minutes. Each time, her attempt was stopped by de Haan.
NC State will next be in action on Friday, Aug. 29 at current No. 20 Georgetown. The Wolfpack and Hoyas will kick off at 3 p.m.