Wolfpack Clipped by No. 8 Notre Dame, 3-1
Sept. 12, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State University women's soccer team (5-2, 0-1 ACC) fell to visiting No. 8 Notre Dame Thursday night, losing by a final score of 3-1 at Dail Soccer Field. Shelli Spamer opened the scoring with a free kick in the sixth minute but the Fighting Irish responded with three straight goals to earn the victory.
"It was a solid performance tonight," said head coach Tim Santoro. "I thought we gave them a couple of bad goals in the first half. They put us under some pressure in the first half, but the goals they scored weren't as a result of that."
Redshirt freshman Mackenzie Stelljes (Charlotte, N.C.) had a strong match in net for the Wolfpack, making eight saves for the second straight contest.
Notre Dame's offense was very aggressive throughout the match, outshooting NC State by a 22-8 margin and recording nine shots on goal compared to four for the Wolfpack.
The two teams endured a significant delay in the start of the match due to lightning in the area. The match started nearly one hour later than scheduled due to the delay.
NC State opened the scoring very early in the match, shocking the visitors to take the lead in the sixth minute. From a seemingly innocent free kick just on the offensive side of midfield, Spamer (McMurray, Pa.) played a powerful ball right on target. Notre Dame goalkeeper Kaela Little struggled with the collection and the ball spun into the net to give the hosts a 1-0 advantage.
Notre Dame (5-1, 1-0 ACC) responded by stepping up its offensive pressure, firing the next five shots. Stelljes was able to stop two of the attempts; another two went high of the frame, and Crystal Thomas punched the fifth shot into the back of the net to pull the visitors level in the 16th minute. Prior to the goal, Stelljes made a solid save on a Lauren Bohaboy attempt, but Thomas was right there to knock in the rebound.
The Irish would take their first lead of the match in the 27th minute when Karin Simonian found the back of the net. Following a nice pass from Thomas, the goalscorer from earlier in the half, Simonian was able to just slot her far-post attempt past Stelljes to put Notre Dame ahead.
The teams played a very even beginning to the second half, with neither side clearly pulling ahead. This nearly changed in the 64th minute when Jessica Baity (Yadkinville, N.C.) ripped a rocket of a shot from 22 yards out towards the top corner. Little dove and was able to just get on the end of it, tipping it aside for a corner kick.
Notre Dame pressed again in the late stages of the match and was able to add one more goal to its total in the 75th minute when Mandy Laddish lifted a floating ball over the Wolfpack defense onto the stride of Sammy Scofield. Scofield made no mistake with her chance, beating Stelljes to the far post to give the Irish a two-goal advantage.
NC State will next be in action on Sunday, Sept. 15 at Pittsburgh. The Wolfpack and Panthers will kick off at 1 p.m. with the match being broadcast on ESPN3.