DURHAM, N.C.—Former Duke University men’s soccer goalkeeper James Belshaw has been picked to represent Great Britain in the World University Games to be held in Kazan, Russia July 6-17. Belshaw anchored the Blue Devils in goal for four seasons before graduating this past May.
Duke’s lone senior this past season, Belshaw finished up an outstanding goalkeeping career for the Blue Devils by earning his first NSCAA All-America award. He was a two-time All-ACC first team selection, the first Duke goalkeeper to accomplish the feat, and a four-time NSCAA All-South Region choice. He excelled off the field as well, garnering NSCAA Scholar All-America honors as a junior and senior.
Behind the play of Belshaw, the Blue Devils posted nine shutouts in 2012 – the most since 2009. The team’s 0.70 goals against average was the lowest since 1987 and ranked ninth nationally. Belshaw finished the season ranked 11th nationally in goals against average (.705) and 15th in save percentage (.835). Overall for his career, Belshaw amassed over 7,000 career minutes in goal, a .766 save percentage, a 1.04 goals against average and 21 career shutouts. His 21 clean sheets rank third in Duke history, while the eight in 2012 are tied for eighth on the single-season chart.
Great Britain took silver in the 2011 World University Games and returns the team’s leading scorer. Belshaw is among 21 players selected to the team. The opening ceremonies will get underway July 6 with the competition running through July 17.
History of university sports officially started in 1905 when the first international university games were held in the USA. In 1919 Jean Petitjean initiated the Confederation of Students, under the aegis of which the first World Student Games took place in Paris in May 1923. The following year saw the birth of the International Confederation of Students (ICS). Until 1939 eight more sporting events were organized by the students and the ICS. All the sporting events were mostly held in Europe. France was attributed the right to host the University Games three times, more than any other nation.