Navy Midshipmen vs North Carolina State Wolfpack
Start Date and Time: November 15th, Kickoff @ 7:00 p.m. EST
Location: Dail Soccer Field, Raleigh, North Carolina
Cup Appearances: NC State: 14 Appearances, Navy: 3 Appearances
Last Appearance: NC State: 2018, Navy: 2007
Best Result: NC State: Runner-Ups (1988), Navy: Second Round (2006)
The Mids beat arch-rival Army this past Sunday in the 2019 Patriot League Championship to clinch an automatic bid for the 2019 College Cup. The Black Knights drew first blood with a goal in the first half before Navy put together a terrific comeback in the second half. Sophomore Carolyn Mang got the party started with a low, driving strike into the right corner of the goal to put the Mids on the board. The Forest Hill, Maryland native controlled the ball with grace and delivered the finishing touch on a great move inside the 18-yard box while holding the defenders at bay. Not to be outdone by her fellow Midfielder, Clarksville, Maryland native Victoria Tran adeptly controlled a throw-in by Freshman Sadie McCaleb and powered the ball from a seated position into the left side of the goal to seal a 2-1 win for Navy. The play would later end up as #7 that night on SportsCenter’s Top 10 as the Midshipmen captured their 4th Patriot League Championship.
North Carolina State Wolfpack
North Carolina State rolls into the College Cup for the 15th time in school history and for the 4th straight time dating back to 2016. The Wolfpack finished its 2019 regular season campaign with 10 wins, 6 losses and 4 draws and made it to the Semi-Finals of the ACC Tournament before falling to UNC 3-0. NC State has had a mixed bag of performances this season as the win and loss column have taken turns seesawing as the games have progressed. The team played 7 ranked opponents and won two of those match-ups, 3-1 vs. #7 Georgetown and 1-0 vs. #14 Louisville whom they also beat in the ACC Quarter-Finals. College Cup success has been fairly non-existent for the Wolfpack, having gone past the Second Round just 5 times in 14 tries. The program also experienced a 20-year drought in Tournament appearances dating from 1996-2016, when they finally broke through on their way to a Quarter-Final appearance. NC State looks to replicate similar success in the 2019 edition of the Tournament.
While the Midshipmen have had a brilliant season with 16 wins, 2 losses and 3 draws, they have not been tested against any ranked opponents. LSU is arguably the most prominent team they played this season and they came up short to the Tigers, losing 1-0 in double overtime. North Carolina State has the experience and higher level of talent which should give them an edge over a Navy team making its first trip to the College Cup since 2007. I expect Navy to give it all they have and make it a fight but look for NC State to pull away in the 2nd half.
Navy 1 NC State 3