Pack Women's Soccer Shuts Out Georgia Southern, 4-0
Aug 30, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. - Behind three first-half goals, the NC State women's soccer team recorded its first shutout of the season in defeating Georgia Southern, 4-0, Friday evening at Dail Soccer Stadium in front of a crowd of 1,063 spectators.
The Wolfpack improved to 3-0 on the season - its first under head coach Tim Santoro.
"We got Meagan [Proper] and a few other healthy bodies back, first-half goals and a shutout, and when you add all of that together, it's a recipe to have a complete performance," Santoro said. "We have to fix a few things, but it was definitely our best performance so far this season."
NC State (3-0) jumped all over Georgia Southern (0-3) from the opening whistle, putting up three goals in the first 41 minutes of action.
Sophomore striker Caroline Gentry lit up the scoreboard in the seventh minute after blasting a shot that was saved, but not controlled by the Eagles' goalkeeper, Heather Kirkover. Gentry followed her shot and hammered the rebound into the back of the net from point-blank range to put the Wolfpack ahead, 1-0. The goal was Gentry's second on the year, and she has now scored the Pack's first goal in two of its first three games this season.
The game would lack scoring for the next 20 minutes until Jackie Stengel took over the game.
Playing in her first game this season, redshirt senior and captain Meagan Proper fed a cross from the right wing in to sophomore forward Brittany Stanko in front of the Georgia Southern goal, who then found Stengel all alone in front of the net. Stengel settled the pass and fired it into the goal to make it 2-0 in favor of the Wolfpack at the 27-minute mark.
The Melbourne, Fla., native struck again just 14 minutes later on a pass from redshirt sophomore Rachel Harris, connecting on her fourth goal in just her third collegiate game to give NC State a 3-0 lead it would carry into halftime.
In addition to its three-goal edge, the Pack outshot the Eagles, 8-1, in the period and held a 3-2 edge in corner-kick attempts. Stengel took five shots in the first half, three of which were on-goal and two that found the back of the net.
"Jackie is a very good player and she's playing beyond her years right now," Santoro said. "She's playing a couple of different positions for us right now, and either way, she's producing for us."
Stengel would cap her night with her fifth point with an assist when she and sophomore defender Michelle Oestrich drove the ball up the far side of the field, before handing off a pass to Stanko at the top right corner of the Georgia Southern goal box. Stanko hit a high shot into the back-left corner of the goal to put NC State ahead, 4-0, in the 63rd minute and round out the night's scoring.
"I felt like it was a great win," Stengel said. "There was a lot of stuff we worked on coming into this game and putting those things into action gave us great results."
The Pack held on for the final 28 minutes and cleared the majority of its bench in the process to cruise to its third straight victory.
In her first-career start, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Mackenzie Stelljes earned the win and made two saves for her first shutout.
"She handled everything she had to," Santoro said of Stelljes' performance. "We wanted to give her some minutes and she showed why she deserved to play tonight."
The Wolfpack outshot the Eagles, 14-7, in the contest, while Kirkover made six saves for Georgia Southern.
NC State will welcome East Tennessee State to Dail Soccer Stadium on Sept. 1 for a Sunday matinee at 1 p.m.