In the first-ever matchup between the two teams, the NC State men’s soccer team came out on top 1-0 in a huge defensive battle against the East Tennessee State Buccaneers.
The Wolfpack (7-2-1) came in after a huge 2-0 win against Notre Dame on Friday. The Buccaneers (3-5-2) lost to Kentucky on Saturday. This latest win for the Pack is its third in a row.
“The movement was very good and ETSU sat very deep on us, so it does make it a little bit easier to move the ball,” said head coach George Kiefer. “I thought our guys did well.”
The Wolfpack’s persistence in the first half led to a goal out of five shots, while only allowing two shots from ETSU. Both shots from the Buccaneers missed the target. They would not get a shot on goal the entire game.
After 25 minutes of play, junior midfielder David Loera scored by planting a shot on the bottom left corner, passing the diving goalkeeper. Tonight’s goal marked his third of the season.
“It means a lot, I’m just here to help my team,” Loera said. “I saw the opportunity to shoot and I took my opportunity, and it went in.”
After the first half, both sides went back and forth; both sides were without a shot for the first 14 minutes of the second half. The Wolfpack was finally credited with a shot in the 59th minute after a high kick from junior midfielder Brad Sweeney. This ended the 33-minute gap without an NC State shot.
The Buccaneers’ third shot of the game came in the 71st minute of the match, a 47-minute gap since their previous shot as they had been sitting back defensively, looking for the counter-attack.
“They were looking to sit back and transition and for us, it’s more off if we can have good movements in behind,” Kiefer said. “... A little disappointed with how deep they sat.”
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Vinnie Durand was not credited with any saves after the defense stopped all five shots from hitting their targets. The offense had seven shots in total, three of them on goal. Tonight’s game is the fourth shutout for Durand out of seven starts.
The Wolfpack will end the homestand on Friday with a game against No. 6 Wake Forest (8-2). This will be the team’s last home game until Oct. 22.