DURHAM, N.C. — Top-seeded Duke (18-3-1) defeated 16th seeded Lehigh (15-2-3) by a score of 3-0 on Sunday afternoon in Koskinen Stadium in a Third Round NCAA Tournament game. It was the fourth shutout in a row for Duke, with all four of those games coming in the postseason. The win moves Duke into the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, which they will host for the first time since 1995 when they beat Virginia 3-2 to advance to the NCAA College Cup.
Lehigh controlled the first 15 minutes of play in the match Sunday, coming out strong and keeping the ball in Duke’s defensive end the majority of that stretch. Freshman forward/midfielder Kyle Evans had two shots in the early going for the Mountain Hawks, but Duke junior goalkeeper Justin Papadakis made a diving save on one, and the other went wide left.
The tide would quickly change, as junior midfielder Michael Videira was able to score 20 minutes into the game on a long throw in from the right side by sophomore defender Darrius Barnes. Barnes put one of his trademark throws into the penalty box, and Videira, who was cutting towards the throw from the left side of the field, jumped and directed the ball into the upper right corner of the net out of the reach of Lehigh senior goalkeeper Jim Morahan. It was Videira’s eighth goal of the season, and the third assist on the year for Barnes.
Duke would strike again seven minutes later to go up 2-0 on Spencer Wadsworth’s seventh goal of the season. Wadsworth was on a run up the middle when he received the ball and played a give-and-go with sophomore forward Mike Grella. Grella received the ball and one-timed it around a Lehigh defender and back to Wadsworth on the fly. Wadsworth then hit a rocket from 15 yards out that bent just enough to bounce off of Morahan’s outstretched hand and into the goal. The assist was the fourth this year for Grella. The rest of the half would see scoring opportunities for both squads, with no one able to convert. Lehigh had three saves by defenders on Duke shots in the first half.
The second half would be all Duke, as the defense dominated and the offense was able to add on an insurance goal in the 70th minute. On a fast break, junior midfielder Tomek Charowski sent a ball from the middle of the field through the Lehigh defense to a streaking Grella on the right side. Grella dribbled forward and chipped the ball over Morahan, who had come out of the net on the one-on-one in an effort to minimize Grella’s angle. It was Grella’s team-leading 13th goal of the season, and the third straight game in which he has scored for the Blue Devils.
What was even more impressive about Duke’s offensive output on Sunday was who they were doing it against. Lehigh had only given up seven goals in 19 games all season, and only a 2-0 loss on Sept. 1 against Rutgers did they allow more than one goal in a match. The Mountain Hawk defense had 13 shutouts on the season, and was holding opponents to 0.35 goals per game before they met Duke. Morahan had a .894 save percentage coming into Sunday’s contest.
“I thought Lehigh was a very difficult team to play against,” said Coach John Rennie after the game. “They work as hard as anybody we played this year.
For the fourth game in a row, Duke’s defense was able to shut out its opponent in dominating fashion. Lehigh only attempted eight shots on goal (to Duke’s 19), and only two of those were on goal (whereas Duke put 10 on goal). The Mountain Hawks were only given three corner kicks as well, limiting their scoring chances even further. Papadakis had two saves on the afternoon, bumping his save percentage up to .788, and all four starting defenders played all 90 minutes of the game. The four straight postseason shutouts is the longest such streak in postseason play for the Blue Devils, and ties for the sixth longest shutout streak in the program’s history. The longest shutout streak Duke ever posted was to start off the 2004 season, when they did not allow a goal in their first seven games.
Videira was listed last week as one of the 15 finalists for the 2006 Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy. The Hermann Trophy is awarded each year to the nation’s top collegiate soccer player. The Milton, Mass., native was a semifinalist last year as well. The winner will be announced at a banquet in St. Louis, Mo., on Dec. 2, which is the night before the NCAA Division I men’s championship game.
Duke Athletic Director Joe Alleva played football and baseball at Lehigh and was football captain in 1974. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance in 1975, and served as a graduate assistant football coach for Lehigh, earning an MBA in 1976. Alleva began serving Duke in 1976 working for the vice president for business and finance.
Rennie became the winningest coach in ACC history this season. He holds the records for most wins at an ACC school with 399, and for most wins in the conference with 91. Rennie overtook former Clemson coach I.M. Ibrahim in both categories. For Division I Men’s Soccer coaches, Rennie is in fifth place with 443 overall wins.
The NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament runs through Dec. 3. Duke will play at home in the quarterfinals on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 1:00 p.m., versus either eighth-seeded UCLA (11-5-4) or ninth-seeded Clemson (13-4-2). UCLA knocked off Harvard 2-1 to advance, while Clemson defeated Gardner-Webb 3-1. The Tigers and the Bruins will face off at UCLA tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The 2006 Men’s College Cup Final Four takes place in St. Louis on Dec. 1 and 3, with the final game being televised on ESPN2 at 3:00 p.m. E.S.T.