DURHAM, N.C. - The No. 1 Duke Blue Devils (2-1) were tripped up on Friday night, 1-0, by Villanova (2-1) in the Duke/adidas Classic. Over 3,400 were on hand to witness the first-ever game between the two squads. That was the largest crowd this season for the Blue Devils. The match can be watched on-demand on ACCSelect.com.
The difference in the game was a score with just over 12 minutes remaining in the first half. The Wildcats’ forward Mike Seamon had the ball in the right offensive corner and made a move towards the goal, cutting through the Duke defense. When help came over, he dished the ball back across the middle to a waiting Mike Del Guercio. The senior forward wasted no time ripping a shot to the left post and past a diving Justin Papadakis. The ball ricocheted off the post and into the net to give Villanova a 1-0 lead it would hold onto.
Although Duke outshot Villanova 25-4, including a 12-1 margin in the second half, the Blue Devils could not finish their shots. Only one of the Wildcats’ shots besides their score was on goal, which was saved by Papadakis. It was truly a battle of defenses, with both sides’ back lines playing brilliantly. Wildcat goalkeeper Jason Friel made 10 saves on the evening.
It was the first goal allowed in three games this season by Papadakis, and only the second goal allowed by Duke’s defense so far this year.
The match got physical towards the end, with both Villanova’s Farris Fakhoury and Duke’s Mike Grella receiving yellow cards in the final 16 minutes. The Blue Devils’ frustration with the slow tempo utilized by the Wildcats after they scored became apparent.
The loss ended a run of eight consecutive regular season home wins for Duke, dating back to Sept. 23, 2006. It was also the first loss for the Blue Devils in the Duke/adidas Classic since a 4-1 defeat to St. John’s in 2005.
Coach John Rennie’s record as a collegiate coach fell to 445-200-48 in 35 years with Friday night’s loss. He is in fifth place all-time among NCAA Division I coaches for wins and in third place among active coaches for career wins. This will be Rennie’s last season as head coach of Duke, which was announced prior to the beginning of the season.
In the first tournament game on Friday, N.C. State played No. 12 St. Louis to a 1-1 draw through two overtimes. Sophomore Daniel Fish put the Wolfpack on the board early in the second half, but the Billikens were able to equalize later on with a goal from forward Kyle Patterson.
The four-team Duke/adidas Classic continues on Sunday at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils will take on No. 12 Saint Louis at 7:30 p.m. N.C. State will face Villanova at 5 p.m. Duke’s game can be watched live and on-demand on ACCSelect.com. Admission is free of charge to all regular season men’s soccer games in Koskinen Stadium.