NC State freshman Emika Kawagishi (7) defends an attack near the goal during the NC State Wolfpack's game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Dail Soccer Field on Saturday, August 29, 2021. The Wolfpack lost the match 2-1 on a last-minute score by the Gamecocks.

NC State women’s soccer has laid down a good, early foundation for itself as ACC play begins on Sept. 18. Between having a stacked nonconference start to a young, strong roster, this team will be one to look out for as we head into ACC play. 

Ending nonconference play with Penn State

Before going into ACC play for the rest of the regular season, the Wolfpack got to see how it would fare against a ranked opponent, then-No. 11 Penn State. As four ACC teams are all ranked, three of them being top 10 teams this year, the matchup against Penn State gave NC State another taste of the pressure it will be under as the season progresses. 

A loss is by no means how you want to go into ACC play, however a loss against a ranked team where the Pack lost by one last minute goal is nothing to ignore. The Pack held its own, outshooting Penn State 11-8. After this game, NC State’s offense is going to have to take advantage of those opportunities in games like this one but if it’s able to do that, those games against those ranked opponents will be really exciting. 

Statistically overcoming opponents

If we take a look at the stats book for this year, NC State has already shown what it is capable of. In number of goals, shot attempts and shots per game, the Pack has outshined its opponent pool so far. NC State has consistently been putting up higher numbers, especially in shots and shots on the goal, against whoever it’s playing. These stats show that NC State has a dominant offense, especially when it’s able to turn those opportunities into goals. 

Strong young players

With 15 freshmen and four sophomores on the roster this year, this team is extremely young. Sophomore forward Jameese Joseph leads the team in points and shots on the goal after eight games. Joseph notched 5 shots against Elon, only one less than her current season high. In the UNCG game, Joseph had three shots and one goal. 

Freshman Emika Kawagishi scored her first goal of the season against Oklahoma. With her ability to dictate play, Kawagishi is definitely one to look out for as she continues into this season being a consistent player. 

Altogether, going into ACC play this season, NC State looks promising as a team. Now, it’s hard to tell exactly what they’re going to go up against with every single ACC opponent, but looking at the Pack as a team right now, it looks like it will be an exciting ACC season. 

Staff Writer

I’m Kat Peters, a staff writer at Technician. I’m in NC State class of 2024, majoring in environmental science. I’ve been at Technician since the fall of 2020.