DURHAM, N.C. --- On an emotionally charged night for the Duke men’s soccer team, No. 1 Wake Forest came to Durham and played the spoiler. The Demon Deacons scored three goals in the first 30 minutes of the game and held on to defeat the No. 15 Blue Devils, 3-0. The game can be seen on-demand on ACCSelect.com.
Prior to the match, Duke’s 13 seniors and departing head coach John Rennie were honored in a 20-minte ceremony. Each senior was given a plaque and joined by their two parents on the field. Rennie was escorted by his wife, Kathy, and two children, T.J. and Grace. Director of Athletics Joe Alleva spoke about Rennie as he was presented with a jersey signed by his team and a trophy from the Department of Athletics.
The intensity in the stadium was electric as a season-high 5,176 filled the stands and sidelines to take in the match. However, Wake Forest was quick to strike a blow, scoring a goal 7:29 into the match. Sophomore forward Cody Arnoux sprinted to a long ball played by junior midfielder Mike Lahoud and shot it past Duke’s senior goalkeeper Justin Papadakis from eight yards out. The Deacons’ senior defender Julian Valentin was also credited with an assist.
Duke tried to even the score as the first half went on, but two goals only 3:21 apart put a damper on their chances. With 19:15 left in the first period, Wake’s junior forward Marcus Tracy took a short pass from junior midfielder Jamie Franks at the top of the box. Tracy cut left, cut back right and blasted a shot into the lower right corner of the net.
Franks would assist on the third goal when he ripped a shot from the left side of the field that was blocked but quickly went to Lahoud. From 15 yards out on the right post, Lahoud put the ball across the box and into the left side of the net.
The Blue Devils would attempt in vain to get on the scoreboard throughout the remainder of the first half and for the duration of the second period, but to no avail. It marked the first time since late in the 2002 season that Duke would be shutout in two straight contests. To make matters worse, junior forward Mike Grella, who leads the team in points, was sent off with a red card with 7:25 left in the match. Duke was forced to play a man down the rest of the game, and Grella will be forced to sit out the Blue Devils' Tuesday night contest against No. 5 Virginia Tech.
Papadakis made seven saves on the evening, the most he has made all season. Senior midfielder and captain Michael Videira and Grella led Duke with two shots each on the evening.
“We can’t have a start to the game like we had tonight.” said Papadakis. “They’re too good of a team to come out against like we did.”
Duke fell to 7-5 overall and 2-3 in the ACC with the loss. The loss marked the first time since October of 2003 that the Blue Devils have dropped three consecutive games. Wake Forest improved its undefeated record to 11-0-2 and 4-0-1 in the ACC.
The Blue Devils were outshot for the third straight game this season after outshooting its opponents in its first nine matches. Wake held the advantage in shots, 16-8, and a shots on goal advantage of 10-2. Duke still has outshot the opposition this season 222-114, and holds a shots on goal advantage of 91-55.
Duke leads the all-time series with Wake Forest, 21-11-5. The Deacs snapped a four-game win streak in the series by the Blue Devils on Friday.
Rennie’s record as a collegiate coach is now 450-203-49 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. With his 406 victories at Duke and 93 in ACC play, Rennie has the most wins of any coach in ACC history. He won Duke’s first national championship in any sport in 1986. This will be Rennie’s final season as Duke’s head coach, a decision made prior to the 2007 season.
Senior defender and captain Tim Jepson was named one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which is presented annually in eight NCAA Division I sports to a senior student athlete who excels both on and off the field. Jepson started every game in his first three years at Duke, is a two-time captain, a three-time All-ACC Academic selection and an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District team member. Fans can vote once a day per computer online until Nov. 21 at http://soccer.seniorclassaward.com/public/men/vote.aspx. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award. Winners will be announced during the NCAA Championships, scheduled December 14-16 in Cary, N.C.
Duke hosts No. 5 Virginia Tech at 7 p.m., on Tues. Oct. 23 and visits No. 7 Virginia on Fri., Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. Both 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 seven games overall) in 27 days.