Wolfpack attacks

Flames cannot overcome early deficit against NC State

The N.C. State Wolfpack pulled out a 2-0 win over the Liberty Flames men’s soccer team in a non-conference game Sept. 4 at Osborne Stadium to win for the fifth time in six meetings.

Crossed — Flames attacker Kurt Meyers sends a ball into the box. Photo credit: Leah Seavers

Crossed — Flames attacker Kurt Meyers sends a ball into the box. Photo credit: Leah Seavers

The Flames started the contest with some early pressure on the Wolfpack’s side of the field. The Wolfpack quickly made its way onto the offensive attack with several early opportunities in the first half. The Wolfpack’s first scoring chance came off a corner kick that was headed away by Flames freshman defender Nico Bellarde.

Minutes later, the Wolfpack received another corner kick that was well defended by the Flames. The Flames cleared the ball 25 yards away from the net where it met the foot of Wolfpack sophomore defender Caleb Duverney who directed it back into the top left corner of the net giving N.C. State the 1-0 lead.

“I thought (N.C. State) had actually committed a foul and our guy tried to get their guy off us,” Flames Coach Jeff Alder said. “They called a foul on us and their guy hit a shot of a lifetime. Our guy should not have committed a foul there. Even though the guy grabbed him, just stand him up—don’t get caught up in all that.”

The Wolfpack took that 1-0 lead into halftime. In the second half the Flames came out aggressive and senior midfielder Khalil Karl showed some fancy footwork, dribbling the ball between the legs of three defenders to move it down the field.

The energy the Flames brought would quickly be silenced as N.C. State would strike again. Wolfpack midfielder Yanni Hachem found an opening in the Flames defense and sent a cross over the middle that was headed in by forward Tanner Roberts to extend the Wolfpack lead to 2-0.

“We worked hard. We competed hard. They just scored two good goals on the day,” Alder said. “Our forwards and attacking midfielders have to do a better job of creating more chances and taking advantages of those chances.”

The Flames would have one more opportunity late in the game. Redshirt sophomore defender Kurt Myers sent a cross that was just left of the goal and just right of the foot of senior forward Blessing Tahuona.

“We can definitely build upon the effort that everyone showed and that’s really all you can ask,” Flames senior defender Tim Harbison said.

N.C. State outshot the Flames seven shots to one and had two more corner kicks. Flames redshirt junior goalkeeper Jeremy Lee made two saves on the night.

The Flames next game will be a non-conference matchup against the Marshall Thundering Herd on Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. at Osborne Stadium.

Day is a sports reporter.

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