DURHAM, N.C.—Duke rookie midfielder Suniel Veerakone added another award to his name recently, earning a spot on the Top Drawer Soccer Division I Freshman Best XI second team. He is one of seven freshmen from the ACC represented among the Freshman Best XI teams.
Duke was one of six ACC programs to have a player named to the Freshman Best XI teams, while Veerakone was one of three ACC midfielders to be selected.
Veerakone, the engine to Duke’s midfield in 2016, finished his first season with three goals and five assists for 11 points to earn ACC All-Freshman Team recognition. Ranked 23rd among all freshmen by Top Drawer Soccer during the season, the Michigan native scored two goals on free kicks in a 5-1 win over UNC Asheville.
He added a third free-kick score in the closing minutes to give Duke the 2-1 win at NC State. His five assists are seventh in the ACC and ranked tied for 17th among all freshmen nationally. Overall, Veerakone started 14 of 15 games and played 1,372 minutes to rank fifth on the team.
Duke finished the year with a 7-8-2 overall record and went 2-5-1 in ACC play. The Blue Devils fell to Notre Dame in overtime of the ACC Championship first round, 3-2.