No. 8 Duke (10-5-2) at No. 4 North Carolina (13-2-1)
November 7, 2018 | 7 p.m. | ACC Semifinal
Cary, N.C. | WakeMed Soccer Park | ACC Network Extra
Duke and North Carolina square off at WakeMed Soccer Park for a chance to battle for the 2018 ACC title Sunday. Kickoff is 7 p.m., and tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. ACC students get in for free with a valid ACC school ID.
The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra and can be seen on WatchESPN.com or via the ESPN app.
DUKE – NORTH CAROLINA BY THE NUMBERS
26 – Points for Daniele Proch this season, second in the ACC and the most by a Blue Devil since Andrew Wenger’s 42 in 2011
11 – Consecutive games between Duke and North Carolina that have been decided by a single goal or ended in a tie
5-4 – Duke’s shootout victory score over North Carolina in 2005 ACC Championship game
19-26-5 – Duke’s record in the ACC Tournament
11 – Points for rookie Issa Rayyan in his 16 games, the most by a Duke freshman since Brody Huitema had 16 in 2013
3 – ACC Tournament titles - 1999, 2005, 2006
15.29 – Shots per game average for the Blue Devils in 2018
5.1 – Shots per game allowed by North Carolina in 2018
17 – First-half tallies scored by Duke this season, one more than they had in 20 games last season
6 – Goals allowed by Duke in the first half this season
6 – Goals allowed by North Carolina in the entire 2018 season
5 – Game-winning goals for Daniele Proch, the most in the league, eighth nationally and one of 21 players with at least five
282:03 – Total minutes Duke has trailed in 2018-19
ACC TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Duke advanced to its 12th ACC Championship semifinal with a penalty kick shootout victory over Pitt Sunday. The Blue Devils are the No. 3 seed and are 19-26-5 and have won the title three times with the most recent being in 2006.
Duke is the No. 3 seed in the tournament for the sixth time and for the first time since 2011 when it advanced to the semifinals on penalty kicks against Clemson. Overall, Duke is 3-5-2 as the No. 3 seed.
The Blue Devils are 2-3-1 in ACC Tournament games against the Tar Heels with the most recent being a 1-0 victory for North Carolina in 2012. Duke defeated the Tar Heels in a shootout in 2005 to win the ACC title.
ABOUT THE BLUE DEVILS
Duke looks to continue its run in the ACC Championship Wednesday when it plays No. 5 North Carolina in the semifinals. The Blue Devils are 10-5-2 and looking for their first title game appearance since 2006 when they won the championship as the No. 1 seed.
Daniele Proch leads all scorers with 11 goals and 26 points overall, while Issa Rayyan has four goals and three assists for 11 points. Ian Murphy and defender Matthias Frick have three goals apiece. Kristófer Garðarsson has been outstanding lately and has a team-best five assists. Brandon Williamson is the engine to the midfield, while Max Moser is a threat from the right midfield and has two goals and two assists. Duke has 10 different players with at least one goal.
Rookie Aedan Stanley has anchored the backline in the center back position. A captain, Ciaran McKenna will miss the game after being sent off Sunday against the Panthers. Jack Doran can step in the role of outside back as can Garðarsson. Sophomore Matthias Frick is the other anchor at outside back. He also provides threats on set pieces offensively. Will Pulisic is the leader from the back in goal. Fresh off of a strong rookie campaign, Pulisic was tabbed one of the top 11 goalkeepers by Top Drawer Soccer in preseason. He has five shutouts this season and 12 in his career and earned All-ACC third team recognition as a freshman. Currently he sports a 1.15 goals against average and a .688 save percentage. He was instrumental in the shootout, stopping Pitt’s final two kicks and making Duke’s fourth.
Off the bench, Duke is the deepest it’s been in recent memory with a wealth of talent ready to step in. Suniel Veerakone and Seth Kuhn can provide an offensive spark off the bench, while Nicolas Macri and Colby Agu also can step in as dangerous offensive weapons.
LAST TIME OUT
Duke goalkeeper Will Pulisic stopped two penalty kicks and converted his own with ease to lead the eighth-ranked Blue Devils to the ACC Championship semifinals with a 4-3 shootout victory over Pittsburgh Sunday. The game ended in a scoreless draw after 110 minutes, during which Pittsburgh hit the crossbar three times and Duke nearly scored in the final seconds of both regulation and the second overtime. Overall for the game, the two teams combined for 31 shots, 10 of which came on frame. The Blue Devils played the final 48:54 of the game with 10 players due to a red card in the second half.
LAST TIME WE MET
Fifth-ranked North Carolina scored in the 56th minute en route to a 1-0 victory over No. 14 Duke in the regular season meeting. The 1-0 win marked the fifth straight year the rivalry game has been decided by a single goal. Just over 10 minutes into the half a flighted ball from North Carolina was headed up by Duke defender Matthias Frick. The ball took a fortuitous bounce for the Tar Heels as Frick lost it in the air and Jack Skahan took advantage and hit the ball over Pulisic’s head from the top of the 18 as Duke scrambled to clear it away.
ROOKIE RAYYAN’S RISE
Freshman Issa Rayyan is having a memorable rookie campaign. The rookie speedster tallied a brace at Virginia Tech to give him 11 points on the season. He matches Suniel Veerakone’s 11 points as a freshman in 2016. Brody Huitema had 16 in his first year in 2013.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina, ranked fourth nationally, advanced to ACC semifinal with a 3-0 win over Virginia Tech Sunday. The Tar Heels are 13-2-1 overall and on a four-game win streak, all of which were shutouts. They are 4-1 overall when playing at WakeMed Soccer Park this season.
It’s a balanced effort at the top of the scoring list with Jack Skahan leading the way with seven goals and 17 points overall. Giovanni Montesdeoca is right behind him with 16 points (6g, 4a) and Nils Bruening and Mauricio Pineda has 15 and 14, respectively. Overall, North Carolina is scoring 1.81 goals per game from 11.9 shots per game.
Defensively, the Tar Heels are outstanding and have only allowed six goals all season. They are allowing teams just 5.1 shots per game and only 1.88 on goal. James Pyle anchors the defense with a 0.36 goals against average and a .800 save percentage. He has nine shutouts this season. North Carolina has not allowed a goal in 360 minutes.
Duke has scored 17 first-half goals this year, three of which came against Pittsburgh, and have led at halftime seven times. The 17 tallies are the most in the opening 45 since having 19 in the 2011 campaign. Duke had 16 a year ago in 20 outings.
The Blue Devils’ fast starts have allowed them to play with a lead. Duke has come back from trailing twice this season - a 4-2 win over Wofford and a 3-2 victory over Notre Dame. They trailed a total of 24:43 in those games. Overall this season, Duke has trailed for a total of 282:03.
The winner Wednesday advances to play in the championship against either No. 1 seed Wake Forest or No. 4 seed Louisville. The game will be played at WakeMed Soccer Park and kicks off at noon on ESPNU.