After a dominant 4-1 victory against unranked College of Charleston, NC State men’s soccer will travel to Charlottesville, Virginia on Friday, Sept. 20 to take on No. 5 Virginia in its second ACC match this season.
The Wolfpack (4-1-1) has a tough matchup ahead of it, facing the undefeated Cavaliers (5-0). NC State won its last ACC match 1-0 against Boston College. Virginia is coming off a 1-0 victory over Radford and has soundly beat former No. 1 Maryland 2-0 and former No. 2 Duke 3-1 earlier in the season.
NC State’s offense is led by junior defender Jamie Smith and sophomore forward Kuda Muskwe. Smith leads the team in points, having scored two goals and three assists, one of each coming Tuesday night against Charleston. Muskwe reached the back of net and had an assist against Charleston as well, which puts him at two goals and an assist on the season.
The Wolfpack’s defense has been exceptional as well, only allowing four goals in six games. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Vincent Durant has been solid, with eight saves on 35 shots this season. He has stepped up in a significant way since junior starter Leon Krapf was injured at the beginning of the season.
The Cavaliers offense is led by forwards Daniel Steedman, Daryl Dike and Nathaniel Crofts, who each have five points on the season. Steedman has racked up two goals and one assist on the season and has almost played every minute, with 443 minutes played. Dike has only hit the back of the net once but has tacked on three assists, while Crofts’ five points came in just four games played.
Virginia’s defense has been impenetrable this season, only allowing one goal in the five games it’s played this season. One of the reasons for its success on defense is the impressive performance by goalkeeper Colin Shutler. Shutler has 15 saves on 45 shots this season and has a 0.938 save percentage. He has been almost perfect, with four clean sheets in five games played.
The Wolfpack’s offense needs to be at the top of its game if the team wants to beat the brick wall that is Virginia. The match will be televised on ACC Network Extra this Friday at 7 p.m.