BLACKSBURG – NC State’s Danny DiPrima tallied the game’s lone goal in the 77th minute as the Wolfpack defeated Virginia Tech 1-0 at Thompson Field.
“Obviously, I’m very disappointed in that result,” Virginia Tech head coach Mike Brizendine said. “You can’t miss the opportunities that we created in the first half, and if we had finished those, we could have just managed the second half and it wouldn’t have been an issue. Again, we didn’t and we put ourselves up against the wall. After they scored, I thought we had chances, but we just couldn’t score.”
The Hokies (5-6-2, 0-4-1) came out strong on the attack, gaining three corner kicks and shot with a six-minute span early on. Coming off of a corner kick from Ben Strong, David Fiorello put a header just over the crossbar 27 minutes in.
One of Tech’s best opportunities of the night came in the 32nd minute on a low cross to the far post that Strong got his head on the end of, but ball found the outside of the right post. Alex Martinez looked to give the Wolfpack the lead heading into half time from a set piece just outside of the top of the box. The junior ripped a low shot to the right past the wall, but Kyle Renfro came up with a diving stop with just over a minute remaining in the half. Both sides ended the half level on goals and shots.
The second half began just as the first did, with Tech picking up an early corner kick. Strong took the corner, but the ball came back to him where put a strike on goal, but NC State keeper Fabian Otte was there to make the save.
The Wolfpack nearly took the lead in the 64th minute on a cross into the box that was tapped in, but the NC State striker was called offside. Tech came right back as Drew Ranahan got on the end of a high cross, but the center back’s header was stopped by Otte.
DiPrimi tallied the eventual game-winner in the 77th minute as Martinez sent in a right to left cross in the six-yard box that DiPrima headed into the back of the net for his second goal of the season.
Tech tried pushing for a late equalizer, but the team’s best chance came as Strong had a shot in the box that was blocked by a Wolfpack defender.
“Our defense had to sustain a lot, but we should have scored, that’s the bottom line,” Brizendine added. “I just thought we should have scored and we didn’t. This is the ACC. This isn’t some other conference. We’re playing the best of the best. Even the bottom of our league is still very good. They make a mistake and you need to capitalize.”
The Hokies outshot NC State 11-10 in the game. Ben Strong led Tech’s attack with a career-high six shots on the night, putting two on frame. Renfro had solid night in goal as he recorded five saves in the game.
Tech will now set its sights to Tuesday night’s match as the Hokies welcome Howard to Thompson Field. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
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