BLACKSBURG – Behind a two-goal performance from leading scorer David Clemens, the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team rallied back from an early two-goal deficit to knock off NC State, 3-2, at Ludwig Field in College Park, Md., in the first round of the ACC tournament.
“Today was a great college soccer game with a lot of offensive action,” Virginia Tech head coach Mike Brizendine said. “I thought we showed great character in coming back from two goals down to win. Now we get an opportunity to play No. 1 Maryland. It’ll be the third time this season that we’ll face a No. 1-ranked opponent and the second time we’ll see Maryland here in College Park. We’re excited for the opportunity and know what to expect this time around.”
NC State put the Hokies on their heels early, scoring on their first attempt in the seventh minute. Alex Martinez sent a pass into Philip Carmon where the midfielder found the back of net from four yards out. Just under six minutes later, Martinez scored one of his own, tucking one inside the far post from 10 yards out.
With the Hokies first shot of the game, Clemens cut the Wolfpack’s lead in half in the 24th minute. Mike Wilkie sent a pass to Clemens who found the back of the net from 12 yards out.
Trailing 2-1 heading into the second half, Tech took to the offensive in the second 45 minutes. The pressure paid off in the 73rd minute as Jed Prater knotted up the game as Clemens and Kai Marshall linked up with him. Prater ripped a shot past NC State keeper Fabian Otte from 16 yards out that found the far top corner.
After Tech keeper Kyle Renfro came up with stop on Namzi Albadawi with under 10 minutes remaining, the Hokies came right back, netting the eventual game-winner as Clemens found the back of the net after a flurry inside the box. It was his team-leading ninth goal and third game-winner of the season.
NC State held an 11-10 edge in shots while both keepers recorded four saves on the day. Clemens led the Hokies with four shots, three on target.
The victory marked only the second time in program history that Tech has won a game in the ACC tournament after recording the first in 2007, a 3-0 defeat of No. 19 Maryland.
The Hokies return to action tomorrow night at Ludwig Field to face the No. 1 seeded Maryland Terrapins at 7 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).