CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- The No. 8 Blue Devils (7-4-0, 2-2-0) fell 1-0 in double-overtime to the Tar Heels (4-3-4, 2-2-0) on Thursday night in Chapel Hill. The goal ended a 423:49 offensive goal drought between the two squads. The game can be seen on-demand on ACCSelect.com.
The first half of the game saw a lack of offense from both teams, a trend that would continue throughout. Carolina was held shotless by the Blue Devil defense while Duke was able to manage only one shot by senior midfielder Zack Pope. Pope had played in all 10 of Duke’s previous matches, but was making his first start of the season.
The best opportunity of the half came when Carolina’s Zach Loyd had a one-on-one with Duke senior goalkeeper Justin Papadakis. As Loyd tried to make a move, however, he made contact with Papadakis, dove to the ground and was given a yellow card.
The Tar Heels came out gunning in the second half with two quick shots in the first six minutes, but the Blue Devil defense held strong. Senior defender and captain Tim Jepson was whistled for a questionable yellow card at the top of the box and Tar Heel Brian Shriver put the ensuing free kick into the Duke wall.
Later in the half, Pope had a breakaway up the left side of the midfield that was thwarted when UNC’s Scott Campbell took Pope down as he went by him. Campbell was issued UNC’s second yellow card.
Junior defender Graham Dugoni had a good opportunity midway through the second period when he took a shot on goal from eight yards out, but the ball went directly to Carolina goalkeeper Tyler Deric.
Regulation would end 0-0 and the first of two 10 minute sudden death overtimes would begin. Duke would control the first overtime, taking three shots. Two of those were on goal, but the Blue Devils were unable to convert.
Early in the second overtime, North Carolina would go on the attack. A quick corner kick resulted in a header by Tar Heel Jordan Graye, which Papadakis saved, but Ryan Adeleye put the rebound off a Duke defender and into the net to end the match 2:32 into the period.
“Sometime the bounces go your way and sometimes they don’t,” said Jepson. “When there are 19 or 20 guys in the box sometimes it’s tough to clear the ball.”
“It was a tough way to end a game,” said Coach John Rennie. “Our seniors had never lost to North Carolina, and you could tell how much more motivation that gave UNC’s seniors.”
The game marked the first of the season for Jepson, who had been sidelined for Duke’s first 10 games with a leg injury. Jepson started and played the entire game. Senior midfielder Joe Germanese also returned after missing the previous game against Boston College game with an injury.
Duke was outshot for only the second time this season, 7-5. Duke still has outshot the opposition this season 214-98, and holds a shots-on-goal advantage of 89-45.
Duke leads the all-time series with North Carolina, 40-36-9. The Blue Devils won a 1-0 decision in Durham last season on a stellar defensive effort and an own goal by the Tar Heels. In 2005, the two teams played two scoreless double-overtime 0-0 ties, although Duke took their ACC Championship match, 5-4 on penalty kicks. The Blue Devils have played the Tar Heels more than any other opponent in the program’s history.
North Carolina now leads 3.0-0.5 over Duke in this year’s Carlyle Cup, which is a year-long all-sports competition between the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels, sponsored by Carlyle & Co. of Greensboro, N.C. In seven seasons, the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels have won three Carlyle Cups apiece and tied once, in 2006-07.
Rennie’s record as a collegiate coach is now 450-202-49 in 35 years. Rennie 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 his final season as Duke’s head coach, a decision made prior to the 2007 season.
The Blue Devils will host No. 2 Wake Forest on Fri., Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. Duke’s 13 seniors and the departing Rennie will be honored in a pre-game ceremony that evening. Duke then hosts No. 8 Virginia Tech at 7 p.m., on Tues., Oct. 23 and visits No. 4 Virginia on Fri., Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. All three matches will be available live and on-demand on ACCSelect.com. This current stretch will see the Blue Devils play four matches against top-10 teams (and five games overall) in 22 days.