he Wolfpack men’s soccer team finished last season with a record of 10-7-3 and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where it lost to eventual champion Maryland. The Pack has 18 games on the schedule for the upcoming season, the first of which is just over a month away.
The team will open the season with a pair of exhibitions games, the first of which will be at archrival, UNC-Chapel Hill. The meeting between these two last season was one of the most exciting matches of the season, which saw the then number one ranked Tar Heels beat by an unranked Wolfpack team thanks to a solo-goal by midfielder David Loera.
The second of the Wolfpack’s exhibition will be against VCU. The Rams finished last season with a decent record of 10-6-2, but coming to Dail Soccer Complex will be a difficult test for VCU as the Wolfpack was undefeated at home with eight wins and three draws.
The first official match of the season for NC State is at home to Loyola who finished last season with an impressive record of 12-4-1 overall and 7-1-1 in conference. Despite winning the conference, the Grey Hounds lost in the first round of the Patriot League tournament to Army West Point.
The Pack’s first match of September marks the third game of a four-game homestand as it hosts St. Johns on the first day of the month. The Red Storm had a poor 2018 season finishing sixth in the Big East with a record of 7-8-3.
The final game of the Wolfpack’s early-season homestand is against Longwood. Like the Red Storm, the Lancers had a poor 2018 finishing the season with a record of 5-13-1. The Wolfpack won 2-0 when the two teams faced last season.
The Wolfpack’s first non-exhibition road match of the season is against William & Mary on September 10. While the Tribe struggled in 2018 with a record of 6-10-2, it did take the Wolfpack to overtime when they met last season.
The first conference game of the season for the Wolfpack will be against Boston College on September 14. The Eagles and the Wolfpack met twice in 2018, during the regular season the Eagles won the match 1-0, but when they met in the first round of the ACC Tournament, the Wolfpack won by a score of 3-1.
The Wolfpack plays the College of Charleston on September 17 before a three-game stretch of ACC opponents. Charleston finished 2018 with a record of 5-10-2.
The first game of the stretch of ACC games for the Wolfpack comes against Virginia who the Wolfpack did not face in 2018. The Cavaliers had a solid 2018 making it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament as a 10 seed.
The Pack’s final game of September is against Louisville. The Cardinals were a four seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. When the two teams met in 2018, it was an instant classic that was chock-full of action leading to a draw.
The Wolfpack kicks off October with a tough match against Notre Dame. In 2018, the Fighting Irish went to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament and finished with a record of 11-7-3.
Following the match against the Irish, the Wolfpack is to face ETSU at home. ETSU finished the season with a respectable record of 9-7-1. The game should be a good warm-up for the team’s next game which will likely be the toughest of the season.
The Wolfpack will host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on October 11 this season. The Deacs made it to the third round of the tournament where they were defeated by eventual runner up Akron. The Deacons finished the season with a record of 18-3 with two of the wins coming against the Wolfpack.
Following the game against Wake, the Pack will have a pair of road games at South Carolina and Duke, neither of which the Wolfpack played against in an official match during the regular season Although, the Wolfpack did face Duke in an early-season exhibition which ended as a 1-0 loss for the Wolfpack. The Blue Devils also made a solid tournament run in 2018 reaching the third round.
The Pack will return home after the Duke game to face a historically solid Elon team. While the Phoenix had a below-average 2018 finishing with a record of 5-8-2, the school has produced some solid teams over the years.
The team will round out the month with its second-to-last regular-season game of the year, which will see them travel up to Syracuse. The Orange made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and finished with a record of 7-7-4. When the teams met last season, which also came as the penultimate regular-season game for the Pack, it ended as a 1-1 draw.
The Pack will have a singular regular-season game in November before starting the ACC Tournament and hopefully the NCAA Tournament later in the month. The last game of the regular season will be at home to Clemson, who in 2018 finished with a decent record of 7-9-1, but when the Tigers and Wolfpack faced off at the end of last season it ended in a 3-0 victory for the Tigers.
The Wolfpack has a tough schedule this year, but with the strength of the ACC that was to be expected. Despite the toughness of the conference games, a lot of the Pack’s out of conference games are very winnable. If the team can win the games they are expected to and snag a win or two in the tougher games, then surpassing the 10-win mark set in 2018 is a definite possibility.