DURHAM – The Blue Devils men’s soccer team opened their NCAA tournament on Sunday afternoon, advancing into the Sweet 16 with a 3-1 win over Denver at Koskinen Stadium. Duke, seventh overall in this year’s tournament, used goals from Peter Stroud, Shakur Mohammed and Kamran Acito to pass the Pioneers in the second round matchup.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Blue Devils quickly opened their ledger with Peter Stroud converted from the penalty spot only 5:14 into the game.
- Shakur Mohammed scored his 10th goal of the 2022 season less than 10 minutes later when he put a bouncing ball through several Denver defenders and into the back net at the 15:09 mark.
- Denver halved Duke’s lead with a penalty kick in the 34th minute.
- In the second half, both sides traded possession in the middle third in a back-and-forth start into the game’s second 45 minutes.
- Kamran Acito doubled the Blue Devils’ lead in the 65th minute and headed his first goal of the season thanks to an assist by Ruben Mesalles set up by Cameron Kerr.
- Denver’s offense continued to test and force the Duke defensive unit Eliot Hamill making two of his total of eight saves in less than two minutes.
- Duke kept the Pioneers without a shot on target in the final 15 minutes of the game to secure the win.
- Shakur Mohammed scored his 10th goal of the season and now has 22 total points, a team high.
- The eight parades of Eliot Hamill matched his career high and set a new season high for one-game saves.
- Kamran Acitofresh from his recognition as ACC Rookie of the Year, scored his first goal in a Duke uniform.
- Peter Stroud scored his second goal of 2022, both from penalties.
- The Blue Devils have now won at least one NCAA tournament game in seven straight appearances.
- Duke converted all three shots on goal for the first time this season.
- “Tough old game in the playoffs. It will never go exactly according to plan. Our time out was obvious, we had a few cobwebs despite a good start but you could tell we were just out of sync a little bit at times. But we regrouped well and organized a bit more from our press at half-time. Denver are an impressive team. They’re not that high up the rankings for no reason. They have some strength in every way.” of the field. And they fought us for our money and gave credit to their team and coaching staff. You’ve done a great job.” – Duke head coach John Kerr
- “If you have that long off, you can train as much as you want and try to replicate those situations. But I mean they brought it and that’s something they’re really good at. I think that’s something we discussed is how hard they work and how physical they are. And not only can they play, but you have to level that out first, and there were moments we made it and there were times we didn’t. Fair play to them and I think we sort of pulled it off at the end of the second half.” – Peter Stroud on Denver’s physical playstyle.
- “As a goalkeeper, you hope for a quiet game. But yeah, I think it’s good. It keeps you sharp…Denver were a great team. They were ranked really high at the end of the season and they didn’t end up seeded and that’s why we played against them but they are a very good team very good going forward…they were great so you know stay sharp and it’s good would have liked to have conceded and especially the lads defending in front of me at that as if her life depended on it. And that’s what we really focus on, so it was good to see that.” Eliot Hamill getting back into a rhythm after a long break between games.
- Duke returns to Koskinen Stadium for a third-round game against either 10-ranked FIU or New Hampshire. The first touch is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Fans can also stream the game live on ESPN+.
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