RALEIGH, N.C. - Keely Brown had 10 more saves Sunday night, but NC State took a 4-0 win over Gardner-Webb in the third match of a busy week for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Kia Rankin had two early goals for the Wolfpack (6-2-0), as that proved to be the difference.
Gardner-Webb fell to 2-5-2 on the year.
"Tonight was a tough matchup for us," said head coach Mike Varga. "I thought our legs were a little heavy playing our third match in the last five days. NC State had two days rest coming in but they are a very good team. We fought hard throughout an had some good individual moments. We just ran out of gas. Now we have to regroup and get ready for conference play in two weeks."
After a combined eight shots between the two teams (NC State had seven, GWU had one), the Wolfpack found the back of the net when Rachel Cox had a run down the right side before giving Rankin a quick touch-pass off of her right foot that she was able to put past Brown. The goal gave State a 1-0 lead 26 minutes into the match.
With just three minutes left in the half, Rankin gave NC State a 2-0 lead. She found the back of the net this time off of a defensive miscue that teammate Kristina Schuster was able to key in on and give back to Rankin for her second goal of the match.
NC State took a total of 17 shots (five on goal), while Gardner-Webb's lone shot came from freshman Stina Kleppe in the half.
After five shots in 16-minute span from NC State, Gardner-Webb looked to cut the 2-0 deficit in half, as Kleppe was able to find a hole in Wolfpack defense and put a shot on target that forced the keeper Sydney Wootten to make the save.
NC State added two late goals in the 75th and 83rd minutes of the match from Francis Henshall and Michaella van Maanen to push the lead to four.
Gardner-Webb was led by Kleppe's two shots (one on goal). NC State was led by Rankin, who had two goals (six shots, three on goal), while van Maanen and Henshall each added a goal.
The 'Dogs return to the pitch next Sunday, September 18, as they hit the road to face Alabama State in their final non-conference match. Kickoff is set for 1:00 pm.