NEWTON, Mass.—Duke University junior Nick Palodichuk netted a goal in the 10th minute and the Blue Devils held off a furious charge by Boston College to earn a crucial 1-0 ACC men’s soccer victory at Newton Campus Field tonight. The win was the first for the Blue Devils in ACC action and the first over Boston College since 2010.
The Blue Devils improve to 5-4-5 overall and 1-3-4 in ACC play. Boston College is 5-4-3 and 3-3-2 in the ACC with the loss. The three points pushes Duke’s ACC point total to seven, tied with Syracuse.
Duke took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute as Palodichuk calmly put away a pass from Tyler McDaniel for his third goal of the season. McDaniel received a flick from Brody Huitema just inside the box and headed it down an open Palodichuk on the left side of the penalty area.
With just the keeper to beat, the Battleground, Wash., native took a couple touches and put it past Alex Kapp in the right corner of the goal. The tally was just the third first-half goal for the Blue Devils this season. The assist was the first of McDaniel’s career and the second for Huitema.
Boston College nearly evened the score just seconds later off the ensuing kickoff as a shot from Diego Medina-Mendez skipped wide. The Blue Devils regrouped and did well to possess the ball over the next 10 minutes in search of a second score.
The Eagles continued to attack and started to pressure Duke’s stalwart backline. Good defensive efforts by the Blue Devils along with three saves from goalkeeper Alex Long kept Boston College off the scoreboard for a 1-0 lead at the break.
Duke, holding a 1-0 lead to start the second half for the third time of the season, weathered a flurry of pressure from the Eagles. Boston College had its best opportunity of the night less than five minutes in as Isaac Normesinu got in behind the defense. Long came off his line and deflected the ball wide to keep the Blue Devils’ 1-0 lead.
Boston College continued to control the run of play throughout much of the second period, but the Blue Devils defended well in forcing the Eagles to take tough shots. As time started to wind down, Duke settled down and strung passes together.
Sensing the victory, Duke buckled down in the final four minutes and held off the furious final charge from the Eagles to earn the 1-0 ACC victory.
Long finished with four saves as he posted his fifth shutout of the season and third in the past four games. Boston College held a narrow 13-10 advantage in shots, while Duke had seven corner kicks to the Eagles’ five.
Duke plays its final non-conference contest Tuesday, Oct. 22 against No. 25 Elon at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils close out their home schedule Friday against No. 15 Wake Forest.