DURHAM, N.C.—Duke University sophomore Nick Sih tallied a goal in the 79th minute as the 22nd-ranked Blue Devils shut out visiting Colgate 1-0 in non-conference men’s soccer action this evening at Koskinen Stadium. Duke has not allowed a goal in the past four games, spanning 386:21.
Duke improves to 9-5-2 overall, while Colgate falls to 8-5-3 on the year. It was Duke’s ninth shutout of the year as rookie Jan Trnka-Amhrein earned his first career start in the goal.
"We bend but we don't break I guess," freshman defender Ian Kalis said of the defense "We give up some chances, but Fitz [Brendan Fitzgerald] has been great and Jan [Trnka-Amhrein] was great tonight. The senior leadership has been great. We're pretty resilient back there. We make some mistakes sometimes, but we're able to recover."
The Blue Devils controlled the early possession in the first half. They were able to get forward, but were missing that final pass to put them on the board. After withstanding some early pressure from Duke, Colgate started to get into a rhythm itself and generated a few nice scoring opportunities midway through the half.
The first good chance of the game came from the Raiders in the 18th minute as Jeff Leach snuck in behind the Duke defense and tried to lift the ball over the head of Trnka-Amhrein. Coming off his line to cut down the angle, Trnka-Amhrein was able to make the save to keep the game tied at zero.
Duke came back after a few minutes of pressure from the Raiders and created a good look at goal of its own. Sophomore Cole Grossman served a diagonal ball from the midfield to Ryan McDaniel in the box. McDaniel settled the ball on the right side of the box and fired a shot just high of the net. Minutes later senior Mike Grella got in behind the defense, but Colgate goalie David Cappuccio was able to come out and make the stop as the two teams headed into the half in a scoreless draw.
The second half proved to be much of the same with both teams having periods of strong possession. Both squads pushed forward looking for that go-ahead goal and the defenses matched that intensity to keep it tied at zero.
With just over 11 minutes left to play, Duke drew a foul just inside midfield. Earning the free kick from about 50 yards away, Grella served a ball into the box. Sophomore Christian Ibeagha won the aerial battle and dropped it to the middle of the box where Sih was able to one-time it into the back of the net to give Duke the 1-0 victory.
"It was a great serve from Grella on a free kick and Christian got himself in a good position," head coach John Kerr said. "Instead of trying to score from there because it was a really wide angle he decided to put it right across the box. Nick Sih came up from a deep position and sensed there was a chance to get on the end of it and finished it off nicely with his left foot."
Colgate had a few chances in the closing minutes, but Duke’s defense was up to the task and kept its shutout streak going.
Both teams finished with 11 shots apiece, while Duke had five corner kicks to Colgate’s two. Trnka-Amhrein made three stops for the Blue Devils and Cappuccio had three saves for the Raiders.
Duke closes out its non-conference schedule on Nov. 2, hosting Northern Illinois at 1 p.m.