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Courtesy: Duke Photography
Blue Devils Battle No. 16 Wake Forest to 0-0 Draw
Tuesday 09/21/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -Duke senior goalkeeper James Belshaw made eight saves as the Blue Devils battled No. 16 Wake Forest to a 0-0 draw in ACC men's soccer action at Spry Stadium. Duke stretched its shutout streak to 322:45 in the scoreless tie.

Belshaw finished with at least eight saves for just the third time in his career and netted his second straight shutout. Duke (3-3-1, 1-1-1 ACC) last sacrificed a goal Sept. 7 at Virginia. It is his 15th career shutout and 20th that he has been a starter for with the Blue Devils. Wake Forest moves to 4-1-3 overall and 0-0-3 in ACC play.

"I'm pleased with the fact that we can come away with a point here tonight," head coach John Kerr said. "This is always a tough place to play and I thought our defense and James [Belshaw] were outstanding. We were a little lucky at the end, but it is great to get the clean sheet and we will be able to build on this."

After a scoreless 90 minutes of regulation soccer, the Blue Devils headed to overtime for the first time in the 2012 campaign. Both squads managed two shots in the first overtime session, including one on goal. The second overtime stanza featured little action until the final 30 seconds when senior Anthony Arena's shot found the right post and bounced out to keep the game scoreless and send the Blue Devils home with a point.

Both teams spent the opening moments of the first half feeling each other out and looking to get into a rhythm. Duke rookie Luis Rendon registered the game's first shot eight minutes into the contest from 15 yards, but his strike was right at Wake Forest goalkeeper Michael Lisch for the simple save.

Neither team generated many opportunities early in the game with the majority of play being in the midfield. The Demon Deacons, taking control of the run of play in the final 15 minutes, had the best scoring chance of the first half in the 32nd minute from junior Luca Gimenez. The Brazil native broke loose down the right sideline and ripped what appeared to be a sure goal before Belshaw tipped it off the crossbar.

Gimenez continued to give the Blue Devils problems in the final minutes of the opening frame, but the Duke defense stayed strong to keep the Demon Deacons off the scoreboard after 45 minutes of action. Wake Forest led 5-2 in shots in the first half with Belshaw making three saves.

The Demon Deacons carried their momentum through the opening moments of the second half, but the Blue Devils weathered a flurry of action and countered Wake Forest. Sophomore Sean Davis nearly put Duke up a goal nine minutes into the second half with a left-footed strike that Lisch parried right of the goal.

Duke, in search of its third consecutive win, continued to play outstanding and organized defense to keep Wake Forest off the scoreboard through 60 minutes of action.

Wake Forest, trying to break through for its first ACC win, started to get back into rhythm and created numerous quick opportunities. Belshaw came up big again for the Blue Devils in the 65th minute as Collin Martin weaved through the Duke defense and fired a shot low to the left corner. The senior goalkeeper quickly got down to the ground and knocked it wide left of the frame, stretching his shutout streak to nearly 280 minutes.

The outstanding effort by Belshaw in goal continued into the 80th minute as he made yet another spectacular save on a point-blank shot from 15 yards out. Gimenez set up the Demon Deacons perfectly, finding Ross Tomaselli wide open just inside the penalty area. Belshaw denied the junior midfielder with his sixth save of the night to keep the game scoreless with just under 10 minutes to play and force overtime.

Wake Forest led the way in shots 17-7 and had 12 corner kicks to Duke's two. Lisch finished with four saves for the Demon Deacons.

Duke returns to action Sept. 25 at UNC Wilmington at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils resume ACC play with the big rivalry match against North Carolina Sept. 28 on the ACC Digital Network.

-d-u-k-e-


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