November 10, 2019
PITTSBURGH – The fifth-seeded NC State men’s soccer team (9-6-3) fought back from a one-goal deficit in the second half and pushed the match to overtime, but ultimately fell 2-1 to fourth-seeded Pittsburgh (9-6-2) Sunday afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
NC State was making its second consecutive appearance in the quarterfinal round of the competition after finishing fifth in the ACC regular season standings, the program’s best mark since the 2005 team finished third.
Pittsburgh took an early lead in the 13th minute when Edward Kizza found the back of the net for the 10th time this season. The junior scored first-time at the back post following a cross from teammate Alexander Dexter to give his side a 1-0 advantage.
NC State junior midfielder George Asomani opened his Wolfpack scoring account with an impressive strike in the 54th minute. In a terrific team effort, Ivy Brisma stole the ball from a Pittsburgh defender and passed it to David Loera on the right wing. Loera whipped in a dangerous cross to Kuda Muskwe, who muscled out a defender and helped the ball fall to Tyler Gabarra. The senior ripped a hard shot off a Pittsburgh defender and the rebound fell to Asomani, who collected the rebound, took a few touches to beat a defender, and curled a left-footed strike just inside the right post from 17 yards away.
From this point, the Wolfpack seized the momentum of the match and appeared certain to score again. Loera created chances in the 60th and 69th minutes. Brisma generated an opportunity in the 70th, and Loera created one more chance in the 86th.
NC State goalkeeper Vincent Durand made an important save in the 88th minute, denying a partial breakaway by Kizza with a fingertip save on a shot that was headed toward the far post.
Kizza found the back of the net once more in the overtime period, scoring at the near post in the 94th minute on a cross from Dexter.
NC State will now await its opponent for the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The Wolfpack is seeking its third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, a feat that has not been achieved by the NC State program since 1985-87. The NCAA Selection Show is scheduled for 1 pm on Monday, Nov. 18 and the first round of the competition begins on Thursday, Nov. 21.
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