RALEIGH, N.C. - Despite jumping out to a lead, the Mercer men's soccer team couldn't hold on and dropped a 2-1 decision to NC State on Sunday afternoon in front of a raucous crowd of 1,150 fans at Dail Soccer Complex.
NC State (2-0) out-shot Mercer (0-2) 14-12 and held a 6-5 edge in corner kicks in the game.
Over the first 45 minutes of the game neither team had many quality chances, with Mercer possessing the best opportunity of the first half. Senior Josh Shutter launched a long ball down the field that classmate Richie Edmondson ran down behind the NC State defense and fired just wide of net to keep the score tied at 0-0 going into intermission.
NC State came out of intermission with its best scoring chance of the game thus far, in the 50th minute, when sophomore Monbo Bokar fired a bending shot on a counter attack just over the crossbar to continue the scoreless contest.
Mercer responded in a big way in the 60th minute when junior Ryan King cut inside and slid a pass to Edmondson who pushed a shot past NC State goalkeeper Fabian Otte to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.
The Wolfpack tried to score an equalizer in the 69th minute when junior Nader Jaibat flicked a back heel shot on net that was saved by Mercer goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh to keep the Bears up 1-0.
NC State kept pressing forward and finally tallied an equalizer in the 85th minute when Bokar collected a loose ball in the box and fired a shot past Ranjitsingh to knot the game at 1-1.
The Orange and Black came right back just seconds later when senior Josh Shutter blasted a ball over the NC State defense that Edmondson had a bead on. Right as Edmondson went up to gain control of the ball, Otte slammed into him right inside the penalty box, but no red card or penalty shot was awarded by the referee.
The game would eventually go into overtime and unfortunately for the Bears, NC State didn't take long to tally the game winning goal. Junior Nazmi Albadawi dribbled his way through the Mercer defense and fired a shot low past Ranjitsingh to give the Wolfpack a 2-1 win.
Ranjitsingh made four saves in the contest, while Otte made one save to secure the win for NC State.
Mercer continues its season opening road trip when it travels to Illinois to take on the University of Nebraska-Omaha on August 31 as part of the Busey Bank Invitational. Game time is scheduled for 5:30 pm at Shea Stadium on the campus of Bradley University.