CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The ninth-seeded Virginia Tech men’s soccer team lost to eighth-seeded North Carolina State, 1-0, in the first round of the 25th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Soccer Championship at Fetzer Field on the campus of the University of North Carolina today.
The game began slowly with both teams settling into the flow of the match early on. Tech had the possession in the opening minutes as the first shot of the match came 11 minutes in when NC State’s Nazmi Albadawi hit a strike from outside the box right at Tech sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Renfro. Sophomore forward Mikey Minutillo had Tech’s first shot, but his rip from outside the 18 went wide in the 27th minute.
Tech had another good look as freshman defender Kevin Reitzel got free on a long throw-in by junior defender David Fiorello in the 34th minute, but his header effort sailed high of the bar. Then, just one minute later, the Wolfpack’s Justin Willis hit a shot from 20 yards out that rattled the crossbar. The game would remain scoreless heading into halftime. NC State held the advantage in shots, 4-3, for the first 45 minutes.
Tech had the first chance of the second period as sophomore midfielder David Clemens had his header off a cross by freshman midfielder Ben Strong go wide in the 47th minute. However, NC State (7-10-2) would tally the lone goal of the match just under the hour mark when Ryan Metts attacked down the right side and sent in a low cross which was finished by Albadawi on the back post after Renfro got a hand on the cross at 59:25.
Over the final 10 minutes, the Hokies would draw two free kicks just outside the box both in dangerous positions. However, both of the direct strikes at goal by Strong went over the crossbar and the Wolfpack held on for the win.
Shots favored NC State, 14-7, while corners were even at three each for the match.
Shots favored NC State, 14-7, while corners were even at three each for the match.Renfro tallied three saves in goal, giving him 100 on the year. Strong led Tech in shots with three.
This was the fourth meeting between the Wolfpack and Hokies in the ACC Tournament and second consecutive year the two schools have met in the first round. The loss ends Virginia Tech’s season at 4-13-2.
The Wolfpack now advance to Tuesday’s quarterfinal round, where they will play top-seeded and No. 3 North Carolina at 7 p.m. at Fetzer Field.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).