Wolfpack defeats Camels 2-0 in men's soccer opener

Ricki Gaez
(Bennett Scarborough photo)
Ricki Gaez (Bennett Scarborough photo)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – NC State scored twice on re-starts and defeated Campbell 2-0 Friday night in the men's soccer opener for both teams.

Davi Ramos and Clement Simonin found the nets, while keeper Fabian Otte had five saves for the Wolfpack (1-0), which defeated the Camels for the first time since 2009.

Campbell keeper Ethan Hall made seven stops on the night, but the Camels were victimized twice after committing fouls in their half of the field.

"Give credit to NC State.  They're much improved from last year," said fourth-year Campbell head coach Steve Armas.  "The game can change at any moment.  Tonight, our lack of focus on one quick play by State put us on our heels and we paid for it."

Neither team was able to get a shot off until the 13th minute when Eduardo Rodriguez served to the back post, but the header of Camel junior Patrick Moore was well wide of Otte's left post.

In the 23rd minute, Alex Martinez struck a right-footed effort from the top of the area, but Hall was able to tip it by his right post for a corner kick.

Ricki Gaez found room in the State box just four minutes later, but Otte stretched high and held on to the junior forward's shot.

State took the lead with just 51 seconds left in the first half.  Camel center back Aleksi Tossavainen charged out to challenge the ball and was called for a foul.  Nazmi Albadawi quickly re-started the play and Martinez dribbled into the area, then squared the ball across the ground to Ramos, a freshman out of Fayetteville (N.C.) Academy, who scored his first collegiate goal.

Less than two minutes into the second period, Otte kept the Wolfpack in front after Campbell sophomore Isaiah Page dribbled down the left flank and sent a low shot toward the far post, but the State keeper was able to steer the attempt wide for another corner.

NC State doubled its advantage in the 56th minute when Simonin nodded home Danny DiPrima's serve on a free kick from the left side of Hall's box.

Otte kept his sheet clean in the 89th minute on a diving save off Jhuvon Francis' drive. 

State finished with a 14-12 edge in shots, 9-5 in shots on target, and avenged shutout losses to the Camels last season in Raleigh (2-0) and two years ago in Buies Creek (1-0 in overtime).

"The atmosphere was great tonight," said Armas.  "I hope our performance – regardless of the outcome – was entertaining and our fans will come out again Tuesday night."

Campbell returns to action Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. when it hosts VMI in its Big South Conference opener.