Duke dominated the game in every facet, outshooting visiting Presbyterian (3-12-0) 23-6 and holding a commanding 12-1 advantage in corner kicks. The win pushes the Blue Devils to 5-6-1 overall for the year and 3-3-1 in non-conference outings.
"I thought today that we did a good job of keeping the ball and moving the ball and making the other team shift," head coach John Kerr said. "I thought [Presbyterian] did a great job. They were difficult to break down. They got numbers behind the ball and were very disciplined. They didn't make it easy to get clear looks at goal."
The Blue Devils controlled the run of play from the opening whistle, earning two corner kicks within the first three minutes. Duke fired nine first-half shots, but was unable to find the open space and the final ball in the offensive third for an open looks at goal.
The best scoring chance of the first period came from sophomore Nat Eggleston as his shot was cleared off the line by a Presbyterian defender. Blue Hose goalkeeper Tyler Beadle also did well to keep Presbyterian in the game with four saves to send Presbyterian into halftime in a scoreless tie.
The Blue Hose, looking for a goal against the run of play, had a few chances of their own. Presbyterian created four shots in the first 45 minutes, including two on goal, but the Duke backline never let the Blue Hose into the penalty area for quality chances.
The second half proved to be much of the same as Duke outshot Presbyterian 14-2. The Blue Devils, pressing forward, got on board in the 58th minute as junior defender Rob Dolot got forward on the right flank. Dolot found Zach Mathers inside the penalty area. The rookie quickly struck the ball on goal where a Presbyterian defender was unable to clear it away and knocked it in the back of the goal to put Duke in front 1-0.
In search of that elusive second goal, Duke had many opportunities, hitting the crossbar and just missing that finishing touch. Earning a corner kick from the right side in the 83rd, sophomore Sean Davis swung a service to Sebastien Ibeagha at the back post. Ibeagha headed it back across the face of the goal where Sauciuc knocked it home for the 2-0 lead.
Duke finished strong in the final six minutes of action to post its fifth shutout of the season. Senior goalkeeper James Belshaw finished with three saves to earn his fourth shutout of the season. Tyler Beadle made eight stops in 85 minutes of action for the Blue Hose.
The Blue Devils will play its last regular season conference home match Friday, Oct. 19 against Boston College. Duke and the Eagles kick off at 7 p.m., on the ACC Digital Network.