BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech Hokies stunned the 16th-ranked NC State Wolfpack, scoring two second-half goals within the final 11 minutes to earn a 2-0 shutout victory over the ‘Pack at Thompson Field on Sunday afternoon.
The game remained scoreless until the 79th minute of play, when sophomore Emmanuel Akogyeram netted his second goal of the season off a Hokie corner kick to give Tech a 1-0 advantage. A kick from Charlie Campbell landed in the box, where Akogyeram grabbed the loose ball and sent it to the back corner of the net to end the scoring drought. Clarke Bentley recorded an assist on the play.
Only minutes later, the Hokies added an insurance goal. Again, Campbell set the play up with a perfect cross in the box, where James Shupp controlled it and slipped it past NC State goalkeeper, Christopher Widman, to give Tech the 2-0 lead. Both Campbell and Akogyeram were credited with an assist.
The Wolfpack generated some threats of their own in the second period, manufacturing seven straight shots in a matter of three minutes. Brendan Dunn recorded three saves in the prolonged attack, while the Hokie defense earned three blocks to keep the ‘Pack scoreless.
Dunn also came up with the biggest defensive play of the game for the Hokies at the most critical point. With Tech leading 1-0, a Hokie foul in the box led to an NC State penalty kick. Alan Sanchez took the free kick but Dunn dove left, earning a crucial save that preserved the Hokies’ lead and helped him record his first shutout victory of the season.
“I’m very pleased with the result,” said Tech’s head coach Mike Brizendine. “I’m thrilled we were able to capitalize on some of our scoring opportunities today. We were fortunate that Dunn’s save on the penalty kick came at such an important time in the game. NC State is a great team and we came out with our best effort today.”
Tech outshot the Pack, 3-2, in the first stanza. The Hokies finished the day with 13 shots, compared to NC State’s 11. They also earned 14 corner kicks. Dunn collected four saves, earning his second conference win, while Widman finished with three.
The Hokies (3-3-2, 2-0-0) moved to 2-0 in ACC play for just the second time since joining the conference in 2004, which was also the first year they started 2-0 in conference play. The win also completed Tech’s sweep of NC State, as the Hokie women won earlier in the day, 3-0, in Raleigh, N.C.
The Hokies will return to the pitch on Friday, Oct. 2, to host the No. 6 Wake Forest Demon Deacons at 7 p.m., in another conference battle. Results will be available at www.hokiesports.com.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).