DURHAM, N.C.—Duke men’s soccer rookie goalkeeper Will Pulisic has been named to the Top Drawer Soccer Freshman Best XI following a strong freshman campaign for the Blue Devils. Pulisic was voted to the second team by the online organization.
Pulisic played every minute in the net for the Blue Devils in 2017, finishing the year with a 13-4-3 record, a .761 save percentage, a 1.01 goals against average and seven shutouts. The Mechanicsville, Va., native led the ACC in save percentage and was second in shutouts as a rookie. The seven shutouts were the most by a Duke goalkeeper since Alex Long had seven in 2013.
Averaging 3.35 saves per game, Pulisic garnered his first ACC Defensive Player of the Week award after making seven saves overall, including a game-saving penalty kick stop, to help Duke to a scoreless draw with Notre Dame on the road. He garnered his first weekly recognition after posting a pair of shutouts to start the 2017 campaign. Named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week, Pulisic compiled a combined five saves in his first two games to help Duke to the John Rennie Nike Invitational title.
The Blue Devils, after missing the NCAA Tournament for the past five seasons, returned to the field of 48 in 2017 as the No. 6 seed. It was the first time Duke had been seeded since 2006. Duke finished the year with a 13-4-3 overall record, making a six-win improvement from the previous season. The six-game improvement from a year ago matched the best one-year turnaround in Duke history, while the 13 wins are the second-most under Kerr. Duke advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 before falling in heartbreaking fashion in penalty kicks to Fordham.