RALEIGH, N.C. – Two goals by senior Robert Alberti in the final 17 minutes of the match would not be enough as the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team fell 3-2 to NC State at Dail Soccer Stadium on Friday Night.
The Hokies (4-5-5, 1-3-5 ACC) were outshot by the Wolfpack (6-4-4, 2-4-3 ACC) 14-10. The Wolfpack held a 10-1 advantage in corner kicks.
“Tonight was a rough night. We desperately needed to bring some desire and energy to the field tonight and we lacked that. I give NC State credit,” explained head coach Mike Brizendine.
The Wolfpack put a lot of pressure on the Hokies in the opening minutes earning a total of three corner kicks in the first eight minutes, but Tech was able to handle the attempts and clear the pressure. NC State would continue attacking and eventually score the first goal.
NC State’s offensive pressure paid off in the 21st minute after a Nick Surkamp shot ricocheted off of the post and into the goal past senior goalkeeper Kyle Renfro.
NC State continued to attack and would put in another tally in the 31st minute to make it 2-0 after Nazmi Albadawi fired a shot from point blank range.
Tech almost got one back in the 33rd minute when senior David Clemens hit a powerful shot towards the NC State goal, but the Wolfpack’s goalkeeper Fabian Otte was able to turn it away to keep the score 2-0 in favor of NC State.
The Hokies would be unable to get much going in the offensive third and the score would remain 2-0 going into halftime. The Wolfpack went into halftime with a 5-3 advantage in shots and an 8-0 advantage in corner kicks.
NC State continued to pressure Tech in the second half and eventually scored another goal in the 61st minute. Again it was the Wolfpack’s Albadawi who would score. Albadawi dribbled along the right side of the box and hit a right footed shot past Renfro to put NC State up 3-0.
The Hokies would not quit and continued to push numbers forward desperate for a goal.
Their resilience would pay off in the 73rd minute after sophomore Connor Pompilio was taken down in the box. Senior Robert Alberti stepped up to take the spot kick and buried it past Fabian Otte to bring the score to 3-1.
Down only two goals, Tech continued to push numbers forward trying to bring the game within reach.
That pressure would pay off in the 85th minute when sophomore Kai Marshall slipped a beautiful ball to Alberti. The senior hit a quality shot past the goalkeeper to make the score 3-2 and score his second goal of the night and his team-leading sixth goal of the season.
The Hokies’ comeback effort would fall just short and the game ended 3-2 in favor of NC State. Tech earned seven shots in the second half to NC State’s nine and trailed 2-1 in corner kicks.
Kyle Renfro made three saves in the match for Tech.
“The first goal they scored was class but I thought the other two goals could’ve been prevented. Being down 3-0 and having to crawl your way back 3-2 was just too large of a deficit to overcome. It’s unlike us to give up three goals in a match. We’ll review everything, evaluate the game and look to improve on our weaknesses going into another competitive week,” concluded Brizendine.
Tech continues its road stretch on Tuesday night when they travel to take on Davidson in a midweek non-conference tilt.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).