DURHAM, N.C.—Duke senior Brian White tallied his career-best sixth goal in the 59th minute and the 19th-ranked Blue Devils held Appalachian State to just three shots to score a 1-0 victory in non-conference men’s soccer action at Koskinen Stadium Tuesday night.
The Blue Devils remain unbeaten at home and improve to 7-1-1 overall. The seven wins through nine games is the most by a Duke team since the 2006 squad opened the season with the same record. Duke has already matched its wins total from 2016.
“We needed that little break [with Brian White’s goal] to get to 1-0 on the score line,” said head coach John Kerr. “The Appalachian State boys were great tonight. They worked their tails off. We really had to work tonight.”
Duke dominated the action against Appalachian State (3-5-1), outshooting the Mountaineers 19-3 for the game and 9-0 in the second half. The Blue Devils also earned 13 corner kicks in the game.
“Our defense is resilient and they’re solid,” Kerr said. “We made one or two errors in the whole match defensively. I’m very proud of them.”
Riding a wave of momentum from the win over the No. 11 Orange over the weekend, the Blue Devils got off to a strong start in getting balls into the Mountaineers’ penalty box from the wings, but were unable to capitalize.
Duke managed 10 shots overall in the opening 45 minutes with three of those coming on goal. The best chance of the first half came off the foot of senior defender Carter Manley. The veteran outside back had a go from 18 yards, but it skipped just wide of the net as the two teams headed into the locker room scoreless.
The Blue Devils continued to put mounds of pressure on the Appalachian State defense in the early minutes of the second half. Markus Fjørtoft nearly netted his fourth tally in the 52nd minute when his header was cleared off the line by a Mountaineer defender.
Just over six minutes later, White collected a pass from Manley took a couple touches and struck the ball low past the near post for what proved to be all Duke needed.
The chances continued to come for the Blue Devils, however that elusive second goal was just that in the final 38 minutes of action. Appalachian State refused to give up and was dangerous in the final minute, including winning a corner kick with 14 seconds left. Duke’s resilient defense didn’t miss a beat and closed out the game for the clean sheet and more confidence heading into Saturday’s matchup with No. 8 Louisville.
The shutout for Duke is the third of the year and the third for rookie goalkeeper Will Pulisic, one more than the Blue Devils had all of last season. He finished with one save, while Jake Chasteen had five saves for Appalachian State.
Duke hosts No. 8 Louisville in a battle of top 20 teams Saturday night at Koskinen Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.