The NC State men’s soccer began its season on Saturday evening with a 1-0 loss against ACC rival Duke, a team NC State was scheduled to play earlier this month in an exhibition game that was later canceled.
The opportunity to scout its opponent was sorely missed by the Wolfpack, as its offense peppered the Duke goal with shots but never had a meaningful scoring chance against the Blue Devils.
While the Pack defense limited Duke to six shots, Duke had the only two shots in extra time, including the game-winning goal 110 minutes after kickoff.
Despite the sizable volume of shots, both offenses were stuck in a malaise all game. The Wolfpack managed to get nine shots off in the opening 90 minutes but only one forced a single save from Duke goalkeeper Will Pulisic, while the rest either went wide of the net or were blocked by the hardworking Duke backline.
Freshman forward Pau Palacin was the closest to breaking the deadlock as his first shot forced a rebound from Pulisic that Palacin immediately corralled for a second shot, which missed the net. The Wolfpack took two more desperation shots at the Duke net in the final two minutes of regulation, to no avail.
The game was tied 0-0 after 90 minutes but NC State had outshot Duke nine to four, with none of Duke’s shots forcing a save from redshirt junior goalkeeper Leon Krapf, and had the majority of possession up to that point. All signs pointed to the Pack being able to continue that good play, and while it seemed NC State might be able to carry over that energy into extra time, it was Duke that seemed to get a second wind that led to more inspired play.
Not only did NC State not register a shot in extra time but with just 34 seconds left, Duke freshman Nick Pariano scored from the left side of the box, beating Krapf with a low shot to his right.
The Wolfpack have a week to make some adjustments before its next game against Wake Forest. That game will be on Saturday, Oct. 3 and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.