RALEIGH, N.C. - The Marist men's soccer met up with one of the nation's hottest teams on Sunday as they travelled to face-off with North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Coming in with a 5-0 record before the contest, the Wolfpack served as intimidating opponent for the Red Foxes. Undaunted, Marist went head-to-head with N.C. State throughout, though it would come up short on the scoreboard 3-1. Junior Evan Southworth (Newburgh, N.Y.) notched his second goal of the season with a score in the 29th minute.
N.C. State started out fast much to the chagrin of the Red Foxes, as the hosts recorded six shots in the first 16 minutes of play. The defense stood strong initially as junior goalie Anthony Sokalski (London, Ontario) made two saves, while another Wolfpack shot was blocked. After five denied opportunities, N.C. State converted its sixth attempt as Conor Agnew beat Sokalski at 15:48.
After gaining some traction in N.C. State's offensive third with multiple corner kick chances, Marist was able to tie the game up at 28:06 with Southworth's goal. Following a Wolfpack foul, sophomore Matty Berman (West Orange, N.J.) served up a perfectly placed free kick that Southworth leapt for and headed into the back of the net.
Unfortunately for the Red Foxes, the game was tied for just 40 seconds as Alex Martinez recorded his fifth goal of the season at 28:46.
The teams exchanged scoring opportunities down the stretch of the first half as Southworth headed an Anthony Rozmus (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) over the net and N.C. State's Jonathan Ray put a shot on goal that Sokalski nabbed.
Coming out in the second half, Marist controlled the action as the team registered the first four shots and didn't allow a Wolfpack shot until the 83rd minute. Two Red Fox shots were blocked and a third, a Stephan Brossard (Port Washington, N.Y.) attempt was saved by N.C. State's goalkeeper Joe Mills.
A late goal by the Wolfpack's Monbo Bokar in the 85th minute completed the scoring at 3-1.
For the game, Marist held N.C. State to just 10 shots, though seven were on goal. The Wolfpack lead both categories, though at 10-7 and 7-2, respectively. The Red Foxes had more corner kicks at 5-4. In goal, Sokalski finished with four saves.
Postgame head coach Matt Viggiano commented that "it's hard to be pleased whenever you get the loss, but we played hard and went toe-to-toe with the twentieth-ranked team in the nation. To tie the game in the first half was huge, as well as allowing just two shots in the entire second half. Missing three starters hurt us, but we got contributions from the bench as guys really stepped up. Overall, it was a tough result, as our guys deserved better, but we will take the positives from this game and build on them."
The Red Foxes will be back in action against two more Southern opponents next weekend when they compete in the Radford Invitational against Radford and UNC-Asheville on Friday and Sunday.