DURHAM, N.C. - The No. 1 Duke Blue Devils (3-1) defeated the No. 12 St. Louis Billikens (0-1-2) on Sunday night in the 26th annual Duke/adidas Classic tournament, 2-0. Duke relied on two scores from senior forward Paul Dudley and the second shutout of the season from senior goalkeeper Justin Papadakis. The match can be seen on-demand on ACCSelect.com.
On Sunday night, the Blue Devils only outshot the Billikens 11-10. The game was very evenly matched, although St. Louis who was unable to capitalize on their chances, only putting two shots on goal. Duke put three shots on goal the entire match, including their two scores.
The Blue Devils’ first strike came less than six minutes into the contest. Senior midfielder Tomek Charowski dribbled the ball up the left side of the field towards the end line. He made a nice cross to a streaking Dudley on the right post, and Dudley was able to head the ball into the back of the net from five yards out.
Papadakis made one of his most spectacular saves in the young season with 33:34 remaining in the first half. The Billikens’ sophomore midfielder Tim Ream blasted a left-footed shot from the left side towards the lower left corner of the net from about 25 yards out. Papadakis dove quickly to his right and knocked the ball out of bounds and out of harms’ way.
“That first save Justin made was a very good save,” said associate head coach Mike Jeffries. “That’s the goalkeeper’s job, but when he comes up with a good one it’s a big lift for the other guys and a confidence builder for the defenders.”
The remainder of the second half would prove to be a struggle between two good defenses. Neither team put a shot on goal in the first period after Ream’s attempt.
The second half would be more of the same. St. Louis only put one shot on goal the entire period, which was turned away by Papadakis.
Duke’s second goal came with 27:12 left in the game. Senior forward Mike Grella gathered the ball on the right side about 15 yards from the end line. He played the ball through the defense to senior midfielder Joe Germanese, who was cutting towards to goal in front of Grella from the right side. Germanese one-timed the ball across the middle to an on-rushing Dudley, who one-timed it in.
“The Villanova game, we had to put behind it behind us,” said Dudley. “It’s not like we played badly in the game. We had a lot of shots and we were just really unlucky. They got one opportunity and they put it away. We moved on, we forgot about it and we knew St. Louis was going to be a great team and we’re really happy with the way things worked out tonight.”
Coach John Rennie’s record as a collegiate coach improved to 446-200-48 in 35 years with Sunday night’s win. He is in fifth place all-time among NCAA Division I coaches for wins and in third place among active coaches for career wins. Duke is now 3-0 all-time against St. Louis, with all of those wins coming during Rennie’s tenure.
In the tournament game before the Duke-St. Louis match, Villanova edged N.C. State 1-0 on a goal by sophomore forward Mike Seamon. With the win, the Wildcats took home tournament champion honors after winning both of their games this weekend. Duke (1-1 this weekend) was the runner-up, followed by N.C. State (0-1-1) in third place and St. Louis (0-1-1) in fourth place. The Wolfpack beat out the Billikens for third place base on goal differential throughout the tournament. N.C. State scored one goal and gave up two goals while St. Louis scored one goal and gave up three goals.
2007 Duke/adidas Classic All-Tournament Team
Jason Friel- GK- Villanova (Most Valuable Player)
Mike Del Guercio- F- Villanova
Mike Seamon- F- Villanova
Matt Sleece- D- Villanova
Josh Bienenfeld- D- Duke
Paul Dudley- F- Duke
Joe Germanese- M- Duke
Jorge Mora- M- N.C. State
Chris Widman- GK- N.C. State
Calum Angus- D- St. Louis
Kyle Patterson- D- St. Louis
Duke’s match with St. Louis was the first of four consecutive 7 p.m. home contests against ranked teams for the Blue Devils. Duke faces No. 18 West Virginia on Sat., Sept. 15, No. 15 South Carolina on Wed., Sept. 19 and No. 4 Maryland on Sat. Sept. 22 in the ACC opener for the Blue Devils.