The NC State women’s soccer team drew 0-0 with No. 1 Virginia after 110 minutes of play on Wednesday night at Dail Soccer Field.
The Wolfpack (6-4-3, 1-1-3 ACC) could have easily won the game as the home side outplayed the Cavaliers (10-0-3, 2-0-3 ACC) in the second period of overtime and nearly grabbed a golden-goal winner on several occasions.
“I love how we played,” head coach Tim Santoro said. “I just don't like that we didn't have enough quality in front of the goal. We need to win these games. I said it in the last two games as well. We played well. And they're a good team. But we are too. We wanted three points."
The Pack’s two best chances for a winner in overtime came less than a minute apart with freshman forward Leyah Hall-Robinson being the catalyst on both occasions. The first saw Hall-Robinson play a ball across the box toward senior forward Tziarra King who couldn’t get on the end of the effort. The second saw the freshman go for goal herself from very close range but she blazed it over the net.
“I'm happy with our performance, except kicking the ball in the goal,” Santoro said. “We got a final pass, decision making around the goal. The actual shot has to have a little more thought to it. We just have to be better in front of the goal. We have to win a game like that. I love everything about it except for the end product in front of the goal.”
While the Wolfpack had its chances to win the game late, the Cavaliers could have ended it much earlier in the game if not for the Wolfpack’s junior goalkeeper Jessica Berlin. Berlin made a number of big saves in the second half to keep her team in the contest.
“The goalkeeper position, when you’re really having troubles scoring goals in a game like this, you can't give any up and she did what she had to.” Santoro said. “I thought her and the backline just did everything that was asked of them and it gave us a chance to win the game and we didn’t.”
The best of Berlin’s saves was a double save following a freekick from Virginia’s leading scorer Diana Ordonez, who is currently averaging more than a goal per game. Berlin saved the freekick but the rebound fell kindly to Virginia and it looked like a certain goal, but Berlin got back across the goal and was able to make a foot save.
“I just didn't really think I just reacted,” Berlin said. “I went for the ball and I knew any rebound that I could trust my defense to get those out.”
Berlin was not the only member of the backline who performed well on the night as the whole unit had its hands full with a Virginia attack that prior to tonight had averaged 3.42 goals per game.
The result comes as the third draw in five games of ACC play and on all three occasions, the Pack could have and possibly should have taken all three points. While the results are not as good as they could be, the team is playing well and if the goals start coming, this team is a force to be reckoned with.
NC State will next host No. 20 Virginia Tech on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. as it continues its homestand at Dail Soccer Field.