Soccer Hawks drop midweek decision to Wolfpack, 2-0

Brandon Sans, Staff Writer

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UNC Wilmington renewed its in-state rivalry with North Carolina State University on Wednesday night, but the Seahawks would come up short against the Wolfpack, losing 2-0.

“It’s disappointing, a poor performance on our part,” said UNCW coach Aidan Heaney. “In many areas, we were second best. I was surprised because I know we’re better than that.”

It had been nearly 13 years since UNCW (7-3-2) last faced NC State. Coming into tonight, the Wolfpack held a 19-3-1 advantage in the series, but the last six meetings had all been decided by a goal or less.

That trend of competition continued between the two I-40 opponents as the first half was void of any defining moments and remained knotted at zero for over half the period.

NC State (5-9) broke the scoreless tie in the 32nd minute when sophomore Julius Duchscherer booted in his eighth goal of the season. Both Simon Blotko and Stephen Elias assisted on the goal.

The Wolfpack ended the first half with five shots on goal while the Seahawks managed their only shot on goal in the 38th minute.

“We can do much better. We came out and didn’t do our best,” said forward Julio Moncada.

Action picked up in the opening minutes of the second half when an NC State forward was issued a yellow card after causing contact with UNCW’s Joel Bylander.

Roughly seven minutes after the incident, referee Mark Kadlecik issued a card to Mark Lindstrom as well.

Any shot at a late rally by UNCW was dashed in the 85th minute when NC State forward Clayton Sparks scored to double the Wolfpack lead.

Moncada, named NCAA Player-of-the-Week Tuesday afternoon, felt bittersweet after the loss.

“I’m honored to receive it. First of all, I think it’s a team award because I wouldn’t be able to get it without my teammates and my coaches,” he said. “It hurts right now because we lost this game, but I’m happy to get it.”

Up next: UNCW will travel on Saturday to face Northeastern. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. The Seahawks will return to UNCW Soccer Stadium next Wednesday to face James Madison.