DURHAM, N.C.—Florida Atlantic senior Shire Standnes tallied a goal with 2:22 left in the first overtime to lift the Owls to a 2-1 upset victory over Duke University in non-conference men’s soccer action this evening at Koskinen Stadium.
“You expect a competitive game every time you come out,” assistant coach Michael Brady said. “That’s what makes this game of ours such an interesting game and that’s not to take anything away from Florida Atlantic. They came out and played very well tonight. They outworked us, they were tougher than us mentally and physically and they ultimately deserved to win.”
Duke falls to 6-5-1 overall on the season, while Florida Atlantic improves to 3-9-1 for the year. All three of the Owls’ victories have come away from home, while the loss is just the second for the Blue Devils on their home turf.
The Blue Devils controlled the run of play from the start of the contest. Duke put some early pressure on the Owls’ defense as senior Mike Grella’s shot in the eighth minute hit the post.
Despite Duke having the better of play, both squads struggled to get into a rhythm in parts of the first session as they combined for 20 fouls. The Blue Devils put together some good work halfway through the stanza and with just under 18 minutes left to play in the half, rookie Temi Molinar collected the ball in the box and had a good look on goal, but his shot was blocked and cleared out of danger.
Duke finally broke through in the 36th minute as Ryan McDaniel found Grella’s feet about 45 yards from goal on a throw-in. Grella turned and faced and beat three Florida Atlantic defenders to get into the box for a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper. Grella touched the ball just to the right as goalie Phillip Lamarre came out and slid the ball into the open net from the right side of the box for the 1-0 lead. It was Grella’s team-leading 10th goal of the season that sent Duke into the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
Looking to stretch the one goal advantage, Duke came out firing in the second frame. Lamarre was forced to make a pair of saves in the opening three minutes off of shots from Grella and Josh Bienenfeld.
The Blue Devils continued to put pressure on the Owls, but struggled to find success around the goal. Florida Atlantic responded with constant pressure of its own and a strong work rate. Looking for the equalizer, the Owls started building an attack and getting into Duke’s defensive third in the second part of the half.
The Owls capitalized on one of those chances and tied the score with 6:35 left in regulation. Duke was unable to clear the ball out of its box and Gianni Piccoletti stepped up to the loose ball and fired it into the right side netting for the tying score.
Duke picked up its pace in the final five minutes as Grella had a shot stopped by Lamarre and rookie Ian Kalis’ shot to the far post with 32 seconds left just missed and rolled across the endline.
In overtime it was Florida Atlantic getting the only two shots. After the first shot missed wide, Standnes took full advantage of his opportunity to win the game. Trey McEntee touched the ball past a Duke midfielder to Standnes who found himself all alone behind the Duke backline. As Duke goalie Brendan Fitzgerald came off his line, Standnes just slipped it past Fitzgerald for the game-winner.
Duke outshot the Owls 12-9 for the game and had an 8-4 edge in corner kicks. Lamarre made five saves in the game and Fitzgerald had three stops.
The Blue Devils resume ACC play on Oct. 18 at top-ranked Wake Forest. Duke and the Demon Deacons kick off at 7 p.m.