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MSOC: NC State edged 2-1 in OT by Virginia

Posted November 1, 2012

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— NC State grabbed a first half lead over Virginia on Conor Agnew’s goal, but gave up the equalizer before falling in the second overtime period 2-1, Thursday at Dail Soccer Field.

“We need to make sure to have more maturity in key situations,” said NC State head coach Kelly Findley. “Crucial mistakes in key moments cost us a win tonight. We’re only as good as our next game, though, so we’re ready for a huge opportunity on Monday.”

The Wolfpack (10-9, 1-7 ACC) fought for a 1-0 advantage at halftime thanks to one of its finest scoring strikes of the season. In the 35th minute, the Pack worked the ball into Virginia (9-6-2, 3-4-1) territory and Alex Martinez triggered the highlight of the night. Martinez fed Nazmi Albadawi, who quickly tapped a centering pass that Agnew slid in to finish. The goal represents Agnew’s third of the season.

Holding a 1-0 advantage, State’s defense earned the task of having to stop a barrage of offensive chances from the Cavaliers. The Pack did its job through halftime and most of the second half, with only a brief respite shortly after halftime when it looked as though NC State would take a two goal lead.

That second goal wouldn’t come in time however, as Virginia tied the match in the 69th minute on Will Bates’s 11th score of the season. The sequence started with the Pack defense turning away a scoring opportunity, and goalkeeper Fabian Otte making one of his three saves on the night. As NC State scrambled to clear the ball, the referee’s whistle stopped play for a handball. The foul occurred in the box, and allowed Bates to deposit a penalty kick, knotting the score at 1-1.

Though rattled from a tough break, the Wolfpack defense rallied to shut the Cavs out for the remainder of regulation. Albadawi had the Pack’s best chance to win the match in regulation, but his shot in the 85th minute glided over the crossbar from 18 yards out.

Neither team mustered much of an offensive effort in the first overtime period, and three minutes into the second, Virginia delivered the deciding goal. Zach Carroll arched a long ball over the top of the Pack defense, finding Darius Madison for his second goal of the year. Otte managed to get a hand on the shot, but not enough to deny the strike. Just moments before the golden goal, Martinez nearly ended the match with a wild, hooking shot from the top of the Virginia box that hung inches left of the target.

NC State returns to action on Monday, November 3 for the play-in game of the 2012 ACC Tournament. The Wolfpack will meet Virginia Tech at Maryland, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. Live stats will be available on GoPack.com. Fans can also follow Twitter updates from @PackMensSoccer.

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