DURHAM, N.C.—The Duke men’s soccer team climbed to No. 2 in this week’s United Soccer Coaches top 25 poll following its two victories in the John Rennie Nike Invitational over the weekend. The Blue Devils were previously 10th on the preseason list.
Duke captured its third straight John Rennie Invitational crown with a 3-1 victory over No. 20 FIU and a 3-2 overtime triumph against a tough Vermont squad. The No. 2 ranking is the highest for the Blue Devils since September of 2007 when it was also ranked second.
The preseason No. 10 ranking by the coaches’ association was the best for the Blue Devils under current head coach John Kerr and also the highest since being fourth in 2007.
The Blue Devils opened the 2018 campaign with a 3-1 victory over 20th-ranked FIU. Duke senior captain Ciaran McKenna opened the scoring with a penalty kick and sophomore defender Matthias Frick headed home the winner late in the second half. Daniele Proch, voted to the College Soccer News Team of the Week, provided a security goal minutes later.
Against Vermont in the final game of the weekend, Proch scored twice as Duke came away with a 3-2 overtime thriller over the Catamounts. The native of Italy, fired in a penalty kick in the first half and then put away a rebound 1:59 into overtime for the win. Kevin Feucht had Duke’s second goal, his first as a Blue Devil.
Proch was named the tournament Most Valuable Player for his three goals in two games. In goal, Will Pulisic played every minute and made eight saves.
In the other polls, Duke comes in at No. 8 by Top Drawer Soccer and seventh according to College Soccer News.
Duke hits the road this week to take on University of San Diego. The Blue Devils and Toreros, which play No. 8 UCLA Tuesday evening, kick off at 11:30 p.m., (ET).