Ain’t That A Kick In The Head?

It’s tournament time again for the ACC soccer programs. As a State fan, can you feel the excitement?

Well, I guess not. And I can’t blame you. N.C. State soccer accomplished a rare double dip of pathos this season with its men’s and women’s soccer teams each being the bottom seeds, based on their conference records, in their respective tournaments.

The women’s program (9-8-2, 3-7-0 ACC) is seeded eighth out of eight and plays number one seed – you guessed it – Carolina tomorrow at the SAS Soccer Park.

The ninth-seeded men’s program (6-9-1, 2-6-1), relegated to the tournament play-in game against eighth-seeded soccer hotbed Virginia Tech, has just beaten them 4-3 and will face number one Duke Wednesday in Germantown, Maryland. N.C. State Media Relations hotly denies that the play-in game is known as the “George Tarantini Invitational” and wonders how someone came up with that silly name.

In all seriousness, this kind of double futility is pretty sad. I’m glad the men’s team won its game and am sure players on each squad worked hard. But producing results like this squarely in the middle of a national youth soccer hotbed is beyond pathetic.

In fact, it’s inexcusable. It’s doubly so when a Certain School To The West produces almost as many national women’s soccer championships as N.C. State has conference wins.

Question to Senior Associate Athletic Director Nora Lynn Finch: have you been at State so long that regularly uncompetitive showings by our non-revenue teams simply don’t register with you? Or are you, yourself, the problem?

General Non-Revenue

40 Responses to Ain’t That A Kick In The Head?

  1. Cardiff Giant 10/31/2006 at 5:54 PM #

    Does this kind of sorry performance bother anyone else? Or do we have enough to worry about watching the football season implode?

  2. Sam92 10/31/2006 at 6:02 PM #

    If I recall when I was in raleigh (89-92), our soccer teams were pretty good – i think our women’s team even beat UNC once (during their string of x-teen consecutive NCAA championships), and also, I think Tarantini was the men’s coach then too.

    I don’t pay too much attention to soccer, but it sounds like we’ve come a long way down.

    Nonetheless, before I’d come down too hard on the soccer coaches, I’d want to know how the resources (like, budget) they’ve got to work with stacks up against other programs; that likely has a big impact on recruiting. Anybody have insight on that?

  3. Cardiff Giant 10/31/2006 at 6:06 PM #

    ^ Good point, but really – soccer requires uniforms, a field, and a ball. It will never be a major spectator sport at the college level. So it’s not as if we compete, for recruiting purposes, against schools whose teams play at the equivalent of Wembley Stadium.

    I mean, hell – the school that’s absolutely given UNC fits over the past few seasons is Santa Clara, a small Catholic college in California that probably enrolls less than five thousand people.

  4. PackBacker001 10/31/2006 at 6:15 PM #

    Good point CG, though I’m not sure I’d admit to knowing what small California team has been giving Carolina’s women’s soccer team “fits.” Of course, if you actually are from Wales, we can let it slide. Footy is bigger there.

  5. Cardiff Giant 10/31/2006 at 6:33 PM #

    ^ Any school that manages to regularly humiliate UNC in anything is always on my radar! 🙂

  6. Red_Terrors 10/31/2006 at 6:42 PM #

    I don’t think I’ve seen anything about it on StateFans, but our X-Country teams are not only spectacular, but they are both (men’s and women’s) ACC champions again!!! Not to mention NC State is the only school in ACC history to win both men’s and women’s titles in the same year…and this isn’t the first year we’ve done it. GO PACK!!!

  7. PackBacker001 10/31/2006 at 6:53 PM #

    ^ So what your saying is that these coaches will probably be fired next year for putting too much of an emphasis on winning. Is it just me, or does our Administration often seem anti-sports? It’s almost as if success at a sport means that people won’t take us seriously academically. Meh, maybe it’s just me.

  8. Akula Wolf 10/31/2006 at 7:33 PM #

    Carolina and the like may not play at a Wembley equivalent, but I’m sure they’ve got some locker room and practice facilities that provide the wow factor to potential recruits. Our facilities, on the other hand, are just pathetic. I’m willing to give our coaches a reprieve until the new stadium is built.

    If I were on a recruiting visit to State, and they showed me the field, and the tents (!) that pass for locker rooms, I’d cross NC State off my list while wiping away my tears of laughter. It’s that bad.

  9. NCSUDude17 10/31/2006 at 7:34 PM #

    They can have soccer as long as we can have football!

  10. Titus 10/31/2006 at 8:38 PM #

    A friend coaching in the D-1 Soccer community told me Tarantini is a well known loose cannon on an island all to his own. He’s alienated youth soccer in NC and beyond — No local (or domestic for that matter) kids want to play for him; hence, the majority foreign born element to the team.

  11. wolfonthehill 10/31/2006 at 9:00 PM #

    pssssst…. not to nitpick, but unc-ch is west of Raleigh, not east…

  12. packpigskinfan23 10/31/2006 at 9:35 PM #

    Isnt NC State buliding a new soccer complex along with the Softball one near the old Derr Track and Field?!

    SFN: Yep!! And you just wait!! It will ALL change once we build the programs the best facilities in America. That is all that is holding us back (until the next set of excuses find a way to bubble to the consciousness). You won’t believe how good our programs will be after these facilities. Just think of the impact of the ESA and now Carter-Finley.

  13. joe 10/31/2006 at 10:08 PM #

    Titus – the men’s soccer team only has 3 foreign players. They have 7 from the state of NC. Clearly the team has problems, but 3 of 20 guys from outside the US is not a problem.

    It is true that both UNC soccer teams have loads of NC talent and they are very good teams. In the case of the UNC women, they are at the level of coach K , meaning they can essentially recruit almost anyone they want and they have about 1/2 their team from NC.

  14. WolfPup35 10/31/2006 at 10:59 PM #

    Hey, our soccer team may be the low seed in the tourney, but hell, they just knocked out VT!! Remember when Herb took the low seed Wolfpack to the championship game a couple of times?? This is the ACC…..ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN—-Example–1983–’nuff said.

  15. redfred2 11/01/2006 at 1:27 AM #


    “Is it just me, or does our Administration often seem anti-sports? It’s almost as if success at a sport means that people won’t take us seriously academically. Meh, maybe it’s just me.”

    HELL NO, it’s not just you. I’ve been saying it forever. These folks run from textiles, dairy farming, Jim Valvano, and sports in general. Anything that is NC State’s heritage and the actual pieces of the puzzle that built the university. Those things are embarrassing now days. These folks aren’t enough smart to realize that in it’s day, the development and advancement aspect of the agriculture/textile industries was just important if not moreso, than say, some of the demanding aspects of the computer/techno industry are today. But, heaven forbid that some people should admit to them now, much less take in pride in what the university has accomplished. Not even in the context of the time period that those advancements were made. There should much pride there, but it is total denial instead.

    Let some UNC poem writer jump out and say, ‘MOO’, and the administration and 90%of the alums go into a panic. Funny thing is, the university is not on the same plain academically either. They’re not exactly getting it done there either. So, the focus isn’t on sports, because it’s very visable, academics are a little behind also, but not so visable, and everything that made NC State what it is now, is just not acceptable to NC State’s over exagerated tastebuds these days.

    I do not know why, but those running NCSU now, and those who have passed through it’s doors over the past fifteen years, have tried to separate themselves from the old, and morph into a UNC#2. Sad thing is, they’ve lost all pride, along with any direction, and they’re not making the grade on any front right now.

    I’m done.

  16. Lock 11/01/2006 at 5:32 AM #

    Hey, has anyone heard how bad our fencing team is doing this year? I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking it might be time…FOR A CHANGE.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think we’re letting some of our football frustrations spill out elsewhere. I love soccer and would love for us to be more competitive, but I think I can handle only so much negativity before it just kinda blends into a big mass of blah.

  17. Trout 11/01/2006 at 9:27 AM #

    redfred2: I dont think NC State is running from its agriculture background at all. In fact, it is doing everything it can to promote and enhance agriculture, which is still NC’s #1 industry. It is North Carolina itself that is moving away from agriculture and more towards a science and service based economy. Agriculture will always play a very important part of NC’s economy though, and I think the leaders at NC State very much know that and value that. Say what you want about Oblinger, but one thing he does understand is agriculture.

  18. ChuckAllYall 11/01/2006 at 9:45 AM #

    Indeed Trout, Oblinger was the Dean of the College of Ag and Life Sciences before taking over his current role as Chancellor. NC State has had to adjust like many others in the agrarian community to the urbanization and changing “landscape” (pun intended) of our state. The focus has shifted from textiles and traditional (row crop) farming to agribusiness, turfgrass, and alternative crops as that is where the future of farming lies. The number of farms are getting smaller with the size and income of the few remaining farms getting bigger. Sad to say, but it looks like the days of the profitable family farm are coming to a close. Not to digress too much, but I think that a rather proactive approach is being taken by the university in regards to agriculture.

    Anybody heard any lines for the GT game?

  19. Trout 11/01/2006 at 9:53 AM #

    ^ I agree 100% with that. Last I saw was GT – 6.5 points.

  20. cfpack03 11/01/2006 at 9:53 AM #

    Downplay soccer if you like, but you can’t deny that the chronic struggles of our soccer program is further support that our administration has no desire to win.

  21. joe 11/01/2006 at 10:13 AM #

    I’m surprised the number of ag majors now. I guess they must be able to find jobs though or else the number would not stay high. I know most of them are not farmers now, but work in some part of agriculture.

  22. Trout 11/01/2006 at 10:24 AM #

    Just because you have an ag degree, doesnt mean you are a farmer. The number of companies hiring NC State’s ag majors continues to increase. Many are on the forefront of the biotech industry that is becoming a real force in the state.

  23. ncsslim 11/01/2006 at 11:25 AM #

    Oh, God, upgraded facilities. Does that mean we won’t ever be able to fire Tarantini because he singlehandedly gave us the upgrades?? Probably out on a bulldozer as we speak.

    We may only have 3 non-US players at this point (don’t know, haven’t checked), but if so, that ‘s certainly a change. George has had a very difficult time in the local fertile market (although bringing in a very good local kid next year) and teams have been very difficult to follow, especially if you care. My family lives and breaths soccer, NCSU, and are local, but didn’t make the time to go to a single game this year. And I don’t remotely regret it, other than the fact that one more clown is at the helm of one more NCSU athletic program.

  24. redfred2 11/01/2006 at 12:21 PM #

    Ag is the among ultimate in high tech nowadays. People can’t eat semi-conductors, and their doctors, lawyers, or favorite author can’t feed them. But those folks surely do rank higher in everyone’s pecking order for some reason.

    I give. Maybe I’m off base. But what I see goes much deeper than that.


  1. The ACC Basketblog - 11/01/2006

    Er2FcZ Very informative article post.Thanks Again. Awesome.

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