While traveling this past weekend I read this thread on SFN’s message forums highlighting some out of conference success of our soccer and volleyball teams. I couldn’t help but think about how nice it is to start experiencing tangible evidence of some of the personnel changes that Debbie Yow has brought to NC State. But, I didn’t have time to post an entry on SFN.
Luckily, the News & Observer gave me reason to bring up the conversation today with this article highlighting the early season success of both the men’s and women’s soccer programs.
Soccer: NC State Men & Women Start Strong
N.C. State’s soccer teams are making noise two weeks into the young season. The Wolfpack men (4-0), under second-year head coach Kelly Findley, are off to their best start since 1987 and have earned a No. 23 ranking in the NSCAA poll. The NCSU 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 NCSU men posted a quality effort last weekend by winning the John Rennie Nike 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 NCSU 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 for back-to-back nonconference road wins since 2000.