After a 1-0 upset loss at home to unranked Iowa, the No. 14 NC State women’s soccer team gets another unranked opponent at home on Sunday when it takes on Duquesne at Dail Soccer Stadium.
The Wolfpack (2-2) couldn’t find the back of the net against Iowa, suffering its first shutout loss of the season and will look to reverse course against an inferior Duquesne squad.
Duquesne has struggled early in the season, losing 2-0 to then-No. 11 West Virginia in its only match against a ranked opponent and barely picking up its lone win by way of a double-overtime victory over Lehigh.
The Dukes (1-1-2) are led offensively by midfielders Deena DeBaldo and Hannah Nguyen. DeBaldo leads the Dukes with two goals this season and although Nguyen has yet to get on the scoreboard, she had the second-most points on the team in 2018 and is always a threat to score.
Duquesne doesn’t rely on much offensive output from their back line, but the Dukes defense has been solid, conceding only five goals in four games. Goalkeeper Megan Virgin will get the start and has performed well in her first season since transferring from LIU Brooklyn, stopping 21 of 26 shots sent her way.
If the Wolfpack can hit twine multiple times, it should be able to pick up an easy win; Duquesne has scored just four goals in four games.
NC State is led on offense by star midfielder Tziarra King, who has two goals in her three games played. The senior is tied in points with defender Krissy Schuster, who has also tallied two goals of her own. Sophomore midfielder Tony Starova has the only other goal of the season for the Pack.
Junior goalkeeper Jessica Berlin has had a shaky start to the season, ceding four goals on just 17 attempts. If the defense, led by Schuster and sophomore Jenna Butler, can hold strong, Berlin shouldn’t face many shots from the Duquesne attack.
The Pack’s loss to Iowa was unexpected, but the Wolfpack should be able to quickly turn around and easily handle an overmatched Duquesne team.
NC State and Duquesne will kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Dail Soccer Field and the match will be televised live on the ACC Network Extra.