The NC State men’s soccer team defeated College of Charleston 4-1 Tuesday night at Dail Soccer Field in a midweek nonconference tilt.
The Wolfpack was led by junior defender Jamie Smith and birthday-boy sophomore forward Kuda Muskwe who each had one goal and one assist.
“To put up four goals is good for us,” NC State head coach George Kiefer said. “I think we needed a game where we put up multiple goals, and to get different guys scoring I was pleased with that.”
The Wolfpack started off the game with a bang. Only four minutes in, Muskwe scored a well-placed header off a cross from senior midfielder Gabriel Machado.
“No it's a tradition,” Muskwe said when asked if this was the first time he had scored on his birthday. “It's something that gives me confidence for the year.”
With 12 minutes left in the first half, NC State received a free kick chance. Smith crossed the ball into the box and freshman defender Kendall Edwards took it out of the air to score the Wolfpack goal, the first of his career.
“It was good, it was really good, we work on that all the time, the front post corners and set pieces,” Edwards said. “I had taken David’s spot and I was just getting to my spot and trying to get the final touch.”
The Pack wasn’t done yet, as four minutes later Smith made two defenders miss and then proceeded to curl a beautiful shot into the back of the net sending the Wolfpack fans crazy behind the goal.
“The goal was excellent, you know to cut back and upper 90, just great for a right-side center back,” Kiefer said. “He's just very dangerous in those areas, and you know overall I just think he had a good match.”
It was fair to say that the Wolfpack dominated the first half in every aspect of the match, scoring three goals and allowing only one College of Charleston shot, that was not on target.
With a comfortable three-goal lead at the start of the second half, Kiefer rested some of his starters. This gave players like freshman forward Tony Temple and freshman forward Sheldon China some valuable playing time. However, because many of State’s starters where not on the field, College of Charleston was able to gain more possession of the ball.
“We were able to get some guys some good rest, which I think will help us Friday night,” Kiefer said. “Then how many players do you put in thats the balance, there was a period there where did we go too deep? I don't know, it's just guys performing well and then they could keep getting more minutes, and while some of them will just need to get back at it again.”
With 30 minutes left in the second half, midfielder Jake Nicholson scored College of Charleston’s only goal with a curling free kick from outside the box that was just out of reach of NC State redshirt senior goalkeeper Vinnie Durand.
10 minutes later it looked like College of Charleston had scored a second goal. However, the goal was disallowed due to interference with the keeper.
To virtually end any thought of a College of Charleston miracle comeback, junior midfielder Loera scored off a beautiful through ball from Muskwe to give NC State its fourth goal of the match and its three-goal lead back with four minutes left in the match.
NC State will be back in action Friday night for a big ACC matchup on the road against No. 5 Virginia. The game will be broadcasted live online on ACC Network Extra with a 7 p.m. kickoff.