With both squads coming off vital ACC wins, the NC State men’s soccer team and the Duke Blue Devils both looked to extend their win streaks, but both sides came up short, drawing 0-0 after 110 minutes.
The Wolfpack (3-8-3, 1-7-3 ACC) showed its defensive prowess when it hosted the Blue Devils (4-9-3, 4-5-1 ACC) on Saturday, April 3. After meeting twice in the fall this split season, the Wolfpack was looking to get revenge on Duke, which won both of the fall matches.
The beginning of the game showed the Blue Devils on the front foot, as it pressed the NC State defense and forced it to play the long ball.
The first real chance of the game came 12 minutes in for the Blue Devils, when Thorleifur Ulfarsson, one of Duke’s leading scorers, had a one-on-one chance with the Wolfpack keeper. Ulfarsson sent the chance well right but showed his danger in front of goal.
Other than that opportunity, neither squad showed much execution in front of goal. The Wolfpack managed one corner while the Blue Devils won two, but all three were soundly cleared as both defenses overachieved for their sides.
The first half ended with both squads creating no real concrete chances. The teams finished with zero shots on goal as neither goalkeeper was forced to make a save in the first 45.
The second half started much like the first, and was a battle fought in the midfield, with few attacking chances being the story. Duke was able to manage its first shot on goal through a low powerful shot by Ulfarsson that was wrapped up easily by redshirt junior goalkeeper Leon Krapf in the 58th minute, and the contest was kept goalless.
The Wolfpack got its first shot on goal as the action picked up. A free kick from freshman midfielder Tal Segev didn’t test Duke goalkeeper Eliot Hamill, but began an influx of chances from both squads.
The best scoring opportunity of the whole game came from a header by Blue Devil defender Matthias Frick, who rattled a powerful header off the top woodwork in the 71th minute. The shot would have been out of reach for the Pack keeper, who was lucky not to be beaten.
After that puff-out-your-cheeks moment, it was clear to see the action had picked up, but neither team was able to take advantage of the new chances, and the match was sent to overtime. Before this match, two of the last three contests for the Wolfpack had been sent to overtime, so the territory was nothing new for the squad.
Full time ended with the Blue Devils having seven shots, with one being on target, and the Wolfpack having two total shots, with both being on target but neither really looking like it would hit the back of the net.
In overtime, the theme of little attacking promise continued, with both defenses looking to clear chances out of the zone rather than build up play. Duke was able to manage one shot in overtime, and that would be the only of its kind for the whole 20 minutes.
Both squads held the other with their defense, which was the main factor in how the match played out.
The Wolfpack plays its final match of the season this Friday, April 9, as it travels to Boston College. That match is set to begin at 1 p.m.