RALEIGH – Today the Women’s soccer team took on Pittsburgh at 1:00pm at Dail Soccer Stadium. The Wolfpack went into this game with a record of 7-2-1, just coming back from a Thursday night game where the Wolfpack unfortunately lost 2-0 from the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Pittsburgh came into this game with a record of 4-4-1. Pittsburgh was just handed a loss by on Thursday as well from Chapel Hill, where they lost 3-0.
Right out of the gate, the Lady Wolfpack came out strong, playing either a 4-5-1 or a 4-3-3 formation with a center formation of 2 center midfielders and one attacking center midfielder. The played one to two touch soccer, continuously keeping the ball moving. Trying to tire out Pittsburgh, but also create enough space for a solid opportunity going towards the net. Pittsburgh came out playing very defensively, by holding players back on their side of the field mainly, while trying to not get too spaced out by the Wolfpacks passes to their outside midfield, outside defensive backs and their keeper. The Wolfpack had chances to take the ball to the net, but the play didn’t seem like it would result the way they would like, so they would play back and try to either switch the field by playing through the middle, or they would start the play over by passing to their defense or keeper. NC State was also playing very solid defence, only letting Pittsburgh have one opportunity on goal.
In the 22nd minute of the game, Ricarda Walking scored the first goal of the game. It was also her first goal of the season. She was assisted by Maxine Blackwood and Hannah Keogh. After this, the Wolfpack comes back and almost gets another goal, but it went out for a corner. However, in the 33rd minute of the game, the Wolfpack gets another goal. Hannah Keogh scores a beautiful top corner shot from the top left corner of the box. It was also her first goal of the season, and I can’t think of a better way to get it. She was assisted by Ricarda Walkings nice pass across the box. At this moment, it seemed like Pittsburgh moved one of their outside midfielders into a defensive position because they had five on their back line. This brings us to the end of the first half. Wolfpack was up 2-0.
At the beginning of the second half, the Lady Wolfpack came out very strong again. Both teams had opportunities on the net, but couldn’t put them in. In the 51st minute of the game, Anna Toohey gets herself a goal. This is her third goal of the season. She was assisted by Hannah Keogh, who now has a goal and two assists to her name. Wolfpack is currently up 3-0. Pitt then fouls in the box not much longer after the goal. It sets up Ricarda Walking with a penalty kick, which she puts in, making it her second goal of the game, as well as her second one of the season. This makes the score 4-0, NC State is winning. In the 59th minute of the game, Michaella Van Maanen is about twenty five yards out and sends a rocket into the left upper ninety. This is her first goal of the season. She was assisted by Jenna Butler and Mia Thillet. This puts the Wolfpack up 5-0 with about thirty minutes left in the game. The Lady Wolfpack continues to have great ball movement, but is playing more direct balls to try and have more scoring opportunities. Pittsburgh is still playing their direct balls through the middle, which hasn’t been too effective for them the whole game. In the 66th minute, Michaella Van Maanen with yet another great goal from about twenty five yards out. She sent it over the keepers head to put the Wolfpack up 6-0. This is her second goal of the game, as well as her second goal of the season. She was assisted by Mia Thillet and Courtney Walker.
The rest of the game was the Wolfpack still trying to put in some more shots on goal, but Pittsburgh fell back into their defensive positioning of a 5-4-1. Pittsburgh did get some nice counter attack opportunities on the Wolfpack, but were shut down due to the quickness that the Lady Wolfpack has with getting back on defense. Pittsburgh got some shots on net, especially two that looked like they were solid scoring opportunities, but Sydney Wooten had a lockdown game in net today, allowing no shots to go into the back of the net, coming off her line to clear the ball, as well as being involved in the transition of the ball from one side of the field to the other. Then came the final whistle of the game, giving NC State another win and Pittsburgh another loss.
With coming off of this huge win, well have to check in and see how the Lady Wolfpack will do this thursday, September 27th, against the Duke Blue Devils, who is coming off a loss today from West Virginia. The Blue Devils lost 2-1. The Blue Devils will come into the game Thursday with a record of 8-2-1, just like our Lady Wolfpack. I will say, it seems like it will be a very interesting game, and I would recommend checking it out. It will be a good one to watch.