DURHAM, N.C.—Duke outshot visiting George Washington 29-4 over the course of 110 minutes, but couldn’t find the back of the net as the 15th-ranked Blue Devils settled for a 0-0 draw with the Colonials in men’s soccer Tuesday night. The shutout is the first for Duke this season.
Duke moves to 4-2-1 overall on the year, while George Washington sits at 4-3-1. The Blue Devils held a 21-4 advantage in shots in regulation, six of which were on frame, and added eight more in the overtime periods, but were unable to put away the elusive first goal.
“It’s frustrating because at times the final pass was waning and we didn’t have enough aggressiveness towards the goal on the final cross,” said head coach John Kerr. “Our approach play to the final third was pretty good, but we have to do better in front of goal.”
The Blue Devils were excellent in the opening 20 minutes and a bit unlucky to not get a goal to open the game up. Rookie Issa Rayyan was in the mix right off the bat, firing a pair of shots over the bar in the opening 12 minutes. Right midfielder Max Moser just missed on a header in the 16th minute and Daniele Proch had the first of his six shots of the night stopped by George Washington keeper Thor Arne Höfs a minute later.
That proved to be the trend for the Blue Devils in the opening 45 minutes with near misses and three saves by Arne Höfs. Duke also earned five corner kicks in the first period.
Pleased with their ability to possess and move the ball around in the opening stanza, Duke pressed forward even more in the second half. Arguably the best chance of the evening came in the 49th minute as Ian Murphy, fresh off of scoring twice against Boston College, was unable to head home a perfect cross to the back post.
Just like the first half, Duke dominated the action, holding nearly 90 percent of the possession and firing 12 shots and wreaking havoc both through the middle and down the sidelines.
While the offense was performing well throughout the middle third of the field, Duke’s defense did its job in the back third. The Blue Devils sacrificed only four shots, three of which were dangerous on frame.
Sophomore goalkeeper Will Pulisic was outstanding and had the save of the game in the 65th minute as he got his fingertips to a header from Dylan Lightbourn to keep the Colonials from taking the 1-0 lead. Pulisic finished the night with three saves and recorded his eighth career shutout.
George Washington goalkeeper Arne Höfs had nine saves in net for the shutout.
“I was happy with the performance,” Kerr said. “I thought we played really well. The first 20 minutes we were really on top and should have scored. I’m happy with the shutout though, that’s a good sign.”
Duke returns to action with its toughest test of the season at No. 1 Wake Forest Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., at Spry Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. Tune in on ACC Network Extra for the action.