DURHAM, N.C.—Duke University freshman Ian Murphy made his first career start a memorable one, scoring two goals to help lead the ninth-ranked Blue Devils to a 3-2 victory over Boston College in Duke’s ACC home opener Friday night. The Blue Devils outshot the Eagles 25-15 in the win.
Murphy, starting on the left wing for the Blue Devils and playing a career-high 73 minutes, ended the Blue Devils’ scoring drought at 254:44 to put Duke up 1-0 early in the second half. He also had the Blue Devils’ second score to break the 1-1 tie in the 73rd minute.
Junior Daniele Proch had what proved to be the game winner in the 77th minute. For Duke, rookies accounted for six of the nine points on the night with Issa Rayyan providing two assists. Five different freshman saw at least 20 minutes of action in the game, including first minutes for Conor Kelly.
“The freshmen bring energy for sure, and a brightness and excitement that really helped us tonight,” said head coach John Kerr. “Obviously, Ian makes his first start and scores two goals and played a great defensive game as well so I’m really proud of him and really happy for him.”
Duke (4-2-0, 1-1-0) entered the game on a two-game skid and scoreless streak at 197:58 minutes, but wasted no time in getting forward to create scoring opportunities. Proch just missed wide left of the post from 18 yards in the opening minutes and Rayyan saw a chance skip wide and his curling shot from the left side of the box hit the post. Junior Nicolas Macri also got into the mix with a header that also went left of the goal frame.
It wasn’t all Blue Devils in the first half though, as Boston College also hit the post and was denied on the doorstep by sophomore goalkeeper Will Pulisic to send the two teams into the locker rooms knotted at zero.
The teams made up for their misses in the second half, combining for five goals in a span of 30 minutes. Duke, through dynamic movement off the ball, continued to give Boston College’s defense fits and finally broke through in the 57th minute on a play that started with a free kick.
The Blue Devils elected to play short on the set piece and moved the ball to the right flank where Brandon Williamson found Rayyan just outside the box. The rookie quickly put it on the foot of Kristofer Gardarsson who took one touch and crossed. Boston College keeper Antonio Chavez Borrelli got his fingertips on it, leaving it to land right on the head of Murphy for the score.
“We know we’re capable [of scoring],” Kerr said. “We scored three tonight and to be honest could have scored a lot more. Knowing that we’re capable of creating so many chances is an exciting prospect for us.”
Just over 10 minutes later the Eagles equalized when Beto Luna made a perfectly-timed run down the right side and took a through pass from Joe Kellett and slotted it into the far post.
Murphy answered four minutes later for Duke, firing Proch’s service into the back of the net to give the Blue Devils the lead for good. Proch put the final touch, one Duke ended up needing, in the 77th minute with a textbook header from a perfect service off the foot of Rayyan.
Boston College pressed in the final 10 minutes and pulled within one with 3:16 remaining, but Duke was able to close out the game to pick up its first ACC victory.
Pulisic finished the night with four saves, all of which were difficult. Chavez Borelli also had four. The three goals against Boston College tie for the most Duke has ever had against the Eagles.
Duke returns to action Tuesday, Sept. 25 against George Washington. Kickoff is 7 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.