No. 19 Duke (8-2-1, 2-2-0) at Pittsburgh (6-5-0, 1-3-0)
October 6, 2017 | 7 p.m. | ACC Network Extra
Pittsburgh, Pa. | Ambrose Urbanic Field
SETTING THE SCENE
Duke and Pittsburgh open the second half of the ACC regular season schedule Friday night in Pittsburgh. The Blue Devils have won four of their past five, while the Panthers are on a three-game win streak, including a pair of top 25 wins. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra and can be seen on WatchESPN.com or via the ESPN app.
DUKE – PITTSBURGH BY THE NUMBERS
17.67 – Duke’s shots per game average for the past three games
16.09 – Shots per game average for Duke this season, second in the ACC and seventh nationally
2 – Goals allowed by the Blue Devils to Pittsburgh in the four meetings as ACC opponents
4 – Shutouts for Duke goalie Will Pulisic, tied for the most in the league and ranking 27th among Division I keepers
4 – Assists for senior defender Carter Manley this season, a career-best and one of three defenders in the ACC to have four-plus assists
3 – Consecutive wins for Pittsburgh, one more win than it had all of 2016
.824 – Mikal Outcalt’s save percentage this season, tops in the ACC and 22nd nationally
12 – Duke’s RPI in the first nationally-released rankings Monday
39 – Pitt’s RPI Monday prior to upsetting RPI-No. 4 Columbia 1-0 Tuesday night
7.00 – Corner kicks per game for the Blue Devils, third in the ACC and fourth nationally
177 – Of the 6170 minutes Duke has played in the past three seasons in which Markus Fjørtoft has not been on the field
Duke and Pitt are meeting for the fifth time as ACC foes. The Blue Devils are 3-0-1 against the Panthers in those games and 4-0-1 against them all time.
Duke and Pittsburgh tied 1-1 in Durham last season. Overall, the Blue Devils have outscored the Panthers 7-2 in the four ACC outings and 4-0 in Pittsburgh.
DUKE SURPASSES 2016 WINS TOTAL
With an 8-2-1 overall record, Duke has already passed its win total from 2016 and is three away from matching the 11 in 2011 - the last time the Blue Devils were in the NCAA Tournament.
Head coach John Kerr’s 2009 squad had 14 wins, the most by a Blue Devil team in his tenure.
LAST TIME OUT
Daniele Proch tallied a goal in the 13th minute to lead the Blue Devils to a 1-0 victory over Elon Tuesday night. Carter Manley provided his career-high and team-best fourth assist on
Will Pulisic anchored a strong defensive effort with two saves, including one in the final seconds, to post Duke’s fourth shutout of the season.
LAST TIME WE MET
The Duke men’s soccer team dominated Pittsburgh in all facets off the game last season, but couldn’t find that elusive second goal, battling the Panthers to a 1-1 draw. The Blue Devils held a 16-8 edge in shots over the 110 minutes.
Duke got off to a quick start when Brian White drew a penalty kick just 26 seconds into the game. White stepped up to the penalty spot and buried the shot. The Panthers took advantage of a corner kick in the 22nd minute as Luca Mellor got his head on the ball just enough to send it high and past the outstretched arms of Robert Moewes.
DUKE STAYS IN POLLS
Duke stayed put in the polls following a tough 1-0 loss to then No. 8 Louisville. The Blue Devils are 15th in the College Soccer News poll, 11th by Top Drawer Soccer and 15th according to Soccer America.
Duke, staying put at No. 19 in the coaches poll, is ranked for consecutive weeks in the United Soccer Coaches Poll for the first time since November of 2010.
ABOUT THE BLUE DEVILS
Duke hits the road for five days and two games starting with Pitt Friday night. The Blue Devils are 8-2-1 overall, 7-1-1 at home and 2-2-0 in ACC play.
Brian White headlines the offense with six goals and an assist for 13 points. His six tallies are one more than his total from 17 games last season and he is one point shy of tying last year’s points total. Daniele Proch is next in line with four goals and 10 points overall in his first year as a Blue Devil and Markus Fjørtoft has contributed three goals as a center back. Outside back Carter Manley has a team-high four assists.
Will Pulisic is 8-2-1 in goal with a 0.98 goals against average and a .718 save percentage. He owns 28 saves and four shutouts in his 11 starts.
BUSY SIX DAYS FOR DEVILS
It’s a busy week for the Blue Devils. Duke outlasted Elon 1-0 Tuesday night and will hit the road to play Pittsburgh and Georgetown in a span of 54 hours. The game versus the 14th-ranked Hoyas will be the third game in six days or 126 hours.
Pittsburgh enters Friday night’s contest on a three-game win streak after upsetting No. 14 Columbia Tuesday night. The Panthers are 6-5-0 overall and 1-3 against ACC foes. The six wins are four more than they had all of last season and they garnered their first ACC victory over Syracuse last Friday.
Edward Kizza is the top scorer with four goals and nine points, while Alexander Dexter owns three goals and two assists. Pol Planellas has contributed a team-best four assists.
Mikal Outcalt anchors the Panthers’ defensive effort with a 0.88 goals against average and a .824 save percentage. He has made 42 saves to rank second in the ACC. As a team, Pitt owns a 1.00 goals against average.
Pitt is 4-1 at home with the lone loss being a 2-1 setback to then-No. 10 North Carolina.
ON THE ROAD
Duke heads to Pittsburgh after a three-game homestand. The Blue Devils lost to North Carolina in Greensboro before rebounding with a 2-1 win at Syracuse the following weekend.
The Blue Devils went 1-3 in ACC regular season road games in 2016, and in a testament to the difficulty of the league, have never won more than three ACC road games since 2008.
ACC ON THE ROAD
Duke has scored a goal in the first half of seven of its eight wins this season and in eight of the 11 games. The Blue Devils already have nine first-half goals this season after tallying just 10 goals overall in the opening 45 minutes in all of 2016.
Through 11 games last season, the Blue Devils had five first-half tallies. Duke went 3-1-0 when leading at the half last season and 5-2-1 when scoring first. The Blue Devils are 6-0-0 when leading at the half this season and 7-1-0 when scoring in the first half.
PROCH HITTING HIS STRIDE
Sophomore Daniele Proch joined the Blue Devils after a fabulous first year at NCAA Division II school Catawba College. Proch led the Indians with eight goals and seven assists for 23 points in 16 games to earn all-region honors.
Proch has hit his stride for the Blue Devils, tally in at least one point in four of his past seven outings. He owns eight points in his past seven games after scoring on just a penalty kick in the first four.
Duke continues its road swing directly to Georgetown. Kickoff in the nation’s capital is at 1 p.m. on HoyasLive.