DURHAM, N.C.-Three different players registered goals to lead Duke to a 4-1 victory over visiting Presbyterian in non-conference men's soccer action this evening at Koskinen Stadium. Freshman Nick Palodichuk led the way with two goals as the Blue Devils captured their fourth straight victory.
Duke (5-4-0) outshot Presbyterian (0-8-0) 24-6 for the game and scored three second-half goals to earn the three-goal victory. Junior Andrew Wenger finished with a goal and an assist, while senior Christopher Tweed-Kent had a pair of assists. Freshman Nat Eggleston registered his first career goal to help Duke pull away in the second half.
"Tuesday night games are always challenging for us for a number of reasons," head coach John Kerr said. "We were sloppy tonight and not sharp as we normally are and made life difficult for ourselves. Sometimes you just want to get these games over with when you know you should win and should make it a clear victory. It wasn't pretty tonight, but we got the job done. We got the win. We scored four goals and now we're moving on."
The Blue Hose got on the scoreboard first in the 20th minute when Byron Quinatoa took a throw-in from Oliver Nobels and was able to curve it through the box to the far post. Duke goalkeeper Jan Trnka-Amrhein got shielded and the ball bounced off the inside of the post and rolled in for the 1-0 lead.
Duke regained its composure and Wenger registered his 11th goal of the season in the 13 minutes later. Wenger took a service from Tweed-Kent on the left side and buried it past Presbyterian goalie Ethan Watson to tie the game heading into halftime.
"We just weren't as sharp as we normally are and we paid the price," Kerr said. "The guy hit a good shot far post and it snuck in the far post. At least we rebounded and recovered from it and scored in the first half to tie it up and that's a good sign."
"That was a huge goal for us to get," Palodichuk said. "It would have been a different game without that. It gave us momentum heading into the second half."
The Blue Devils dominated the run of play in the second period. Palodichuk gave Duke the lead for good in the 57th minute, taking a Tweed-Kent feed and knifing through the Blue Hose defense. After beating three players and getting into the box, he slipped it past Watson for his fourth tally of the year.
Looking to push the pace and break the game open, Duke continued to create quality scoring chances, but just couldn't find the back of the net. After a goal was called back, Eggleston put Duke in front by two with a header off of an Andrew Morales corner kick.
Palodichuk rounded out the scoring in the 86th minute with his second goal of the game. Sophomore Rob Dolot served the ball into the box where Wenger deftly touched it to Palodichuk for the finish and 4-1 victory.
Trnka-Amrhein earned the start in goal for Duke and made three saves in the win. Watson posted three saves in 66 minutes of action, while Tanner Osborne had two in the final 24 minutes.
The Blue Devils resume ACC play on Friday, Sept. 30 at North Carolina. The game will be televised live by Fox Soccer Channel at 7 p.m. and will be the second installment of the Battle of the Blues. The Tar Heels currently lead the annual rivalry 1-0.