RALEIGH – The first and second halves of the NC State men’s club soccer game were very different as they took on their rivals from the University of North Carolina on Friday night at field 3 of the Method Road Fields. On this particular night, neither team seemed to be able to assert their dominance offensively in the first half due to the exceptional defense played by both teams.
Shots on goal were few and far between and each of them were subsequently saved by the opposing goalie. The rest of the half would be characterized as very back and forth, as each team would consistently take the ball downfield just to have the other team force a turnover. However, things would quickly change with the approach of the second half.
The second half was more offensively oriented as both teams exchanged a goal each. Midway through the second half the first goal of the game was scored when UNC scored on a shot that ricocheted off of an NC State defender and into the goal making the score 1-0 in favor of the Tar Heels. As the game continued, the outcome of the game was looking bleak for the Wolfpack, but they continued to play extremely aggressively on offense, taking more shots and moving downfield with a greater sense of urgency than in the first half.
In the midst of what looked like an eventual loss to UNC, #15, Mark Harris, scored a game-tying goal with only a few minutes left to play. For the remainder of the game, both teams played even more aggressively, trying to get the upper hand on the scoreboard before time expired. As there is no overtime in regular season club games, the game ultimately ended in a 1-1 draw.
In a post game interview with PackTV Harris referred to Chapel Hill as “always someone we compare ourselves to,” alluding to the fact that, though they would have liked to come away with the win, they are content to have tied against a team that they are consistently competitive with.
The Wolfpack will be taking on Davidson in an away match on Sunday, September 24, 2017. They have still yet to be defeated this season as they currently have three wins and a tie on the year. It will certainly be interesting to see if the Wolfpack can keep up their exceptional defense on the road in their next game and for the remainder of the season.