N.C. State’s soccer teams are making noise two weeks into the young season. The Wolfpack men (4-0), under second-year coach Kelly Findley, are off to their best start since 1987 and have earned a No. 23 ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll. The N.C. State women (4-2) own a four-game winning streak under fourth-year coach Steve Springthorpe, who led them to their first winning record last season in nine years.
The N.C. State men posted a quality effort last weekend by winning the John Rennie Invitational at Duke. The Wolfpack routed Delaware 6-0 and came from behind to knock off Santa Clara 2-1. Junior midfielder Alex Martinez was named the tournament MVP, finishing with two goals and two assists, and was joined on the all-tournament squad by three teammates: midfielder Jonathan Ray, defender Gbenga Makinde and goalkeeper Fabian Otte. Duke (1-2), which lost to Santa Clara 2-1 and beat Delaware 2-1, put senior goalkeeper James Belshaw and junior defender Sebastien Ibeagha on the team.
“We had a lot of guys that could have made it, but the four that were named are well-deserved,” Findley said. “Fabian had a great weekend back in goal, Johnny had some good goals, Alex did everything we thought he could do, and Gbenga’s making some great progress in a new position.”
Martinez was also named to the College Soccer News national team of the week.
The N.C. State women logged impressive road wins at Texas, 1-0, and LSU, 2-1, before returning home to beat The Citadel 5-0 and Elon 3-0. It was the first time the Wolfpack has beaten Texas since 1984, and the first time it has had back-to-back, non-conference road wins since 2000.
Streak ends: North Carolina men’s senior goalkeeper Scott Goodwin’s shutout streak ended after 390 minutes – roughly 41/3 games – when Boston’s Dominique Badji scored on a header in the 84th minute of a 2-1 win Sunday by the Tar Heels.
Goodwin had not allowed a goal since UCLA scored in the second half of the NCAA semifinal last season. The No. 1-ranked Tar Heels (3-0) also got a 1-0 win over West Virginia Friday.
More honors for DeCesare: Redshirt junior Kim DeCesare continues to pour in goals and rack up national honors for the No. 4 Duke (4-1) women. DeCesare, who moved from midfield to forward this season, had two goals in a 2-1 win over Southern Cal and another in a 4-0 blitz of Washington State. For the second time in three weeks, she was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com national team of the week
DeCesare leads the Blue Devils with six goals and four assists.
Summer stays hot: Freshman forward Summer Green of No. 18 UNC (2-1-1) was named the Offensive MVP of the Notre Dame Invitational last weekend. She had a goal and two assists in wins over Connecticut, 2-1, and Notre Dame, 1-0. UNC senior midfielder Amber Brooks was named the Defensive MVP.
World Cup update: The USA’s ACC connection has helped it earn a berth in the championship match of the Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Tokyo.
Virginia’s Morgan Brian scored on a header in the 22nd minute off a cross by Duke’s Mollie Pathman, and UNC’s Kealia Ohai added a goal in the 70th to send the USA to a 2-0 semifinal victory over Nigeria Tuesday. Ohai was named the Woman of the Match by ussoccer.com.
USA goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin, of UNC, made three saves for her second shutout of the tournament. There are eight players from five ACC schools on the U.S. team, which is coached by Virginia’s Steve Swanson. The USA will play defending champion Germany, a 3-0 semifinal winner over host Japan, for the title Saturday at 6:20 a.m.. The game will air on . Germany beat the USA in group play 3-0.
Looking ahead: Two key ACC contests highlight the men’s schedule this week. Duke visits Virginia Friday night, and UNC hosts Virginia Tech Saturday night. N.C. State has non-conference games at UNC Greensboro Friday, and at home against Marist on Sunday.
The Duke and UNC women will play in the Duke Classic Friday and Sunday, where San Diego and No. 12 Marquette provide the opposition. The N.C. State women host Appalachian State Friday and travel to Kansas Sunday.