Pablo Pedregosa Dribbles

Freshman defender Pablo Pedregosa dribbles the ball against Longwood on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 at Dail Soccer Field. NC State beat Longwood 1-0.

The NC State men’s soccer team will take on William & Mary this Tuesday in what will be its first road game of the season after a 1-0 victory against Longwood at home on Friday.

The winning goal for the Wolfpack (2-1) against Longwood came in the 34th minute, scored by freshman defender Pablo Pedregosa off a rebound from a save made by the Longwood goalkeeper.

Although the Pack inched out a victory in the last game, they will need to be more efficient in front of goal in its next game. Against Longwood, the Pack had 18 shots with eight of them on target, but only one of those managed to get past the keeper into the net. The Pack had a similar problem in their loss to St. John’s with only two on target.

The Pack can easily turn this trend around, however, as they had more possession of the ball than its opponents in both games. With the volume of shots that have been on target, there is a very good chance that more will eventually go past the keeper.

William & Mary have had a rough start to the season, losing both of its first two games. The Tribe is better than its record suggests, as it played very well in its last match, a 1-0 loss against an undefeated Villanova team.

William & Mary has been a solid team defensively this year, allowing only three goals in the two games played this year. On the offensive side of the ball, the team has struggled to score goals. A big factor in its lack of goals is the losses of two all-conference team players. These players are midfielder Antonio Bustamante, who is playing for D.C. United in the MLS, and forward Ryder Bell.

Even though the losses of Bustamante and Bell will hurt the team offensively, they still have some great defenders returning. One of these defenders is Sam Golan, who made the Colonial Athletic Association all-third team last season. Another returning defender is James Bradley, who made the CAA all-rookie team last season.

This is a very important game for NC State as it needs to start its first road game with a win. Last year, NC State finished with a very good overall record of 10-7-3, but its road record was not nearly as strong at 2-7-0. 

It will be interesting to see how the high powered offense of NC State matches up against the strong defense of William & Mary.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Albert Daly Field in Williamsburg, Virginia.