DURHAM, N.C.—Four different Blue Devils scored goals and eight had at least one point as 23rd-ranked Duke earned a 4-2 victory over Wofford in non-conference men’s soccer action tonight at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils scored three of the four goals in the second half.
Duke (5-3-1) held a 28-6 edge in shots and a 14-2 advantage in corner kicks over Wofford (1-7-1) and netted the three second-half goals in a span of 16:11. Junior Brandon Williamson and sophomore Daniel Wright both notched their first goals of the season, while junior Daniele Proch tallied his eighth and rookie Ian Murphy his third.
The Blue Devils attacked and controlled the run of play from the opening whistle. Duke fired shots early, but wasn’t able to connect and Wofford came down and capitalized on its first half chance of the game when a flighted ball from Saviour Anyagri found Zach Aversano who lofted it over the head of Duke goalkeeper Will Pulisic for the 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.
Duke came right back and nearly equalized immediately, but ended up needing seven minutes to tie the game. Junior Max Moser, incredibly active in the first half down the right flank, fed Williamson’s feet at the top of the 18-yard box. The stalwart midfielder recognized the opening and hit side netting for his first goal of 2018.
While it was not for lack of attacking or set pieces – Duke had nine corner kicks in the first 45 minutes – the Blue Devils couldn’t gain the lead before the break and headed into the locker room tied 1-1.
Confident in their abilities to get forward consistently, the Blue Devils continued to push the pace to start the second half. Less than five minutes in, an individual effort from Proch at the top of the box gave Duke the lead for good. He evaded the Wofford defense and took his half chance from 18 yards and put it just out of reach of Wofford goalie Shane Berson.
Less than eight minutes later, Wright got into the scoring column when he put back a rebound from Jack Doran’s shot on the left side. Cruising along and comfortable at 3-1, Murphy made it 4-1 in the 76th minute with a great one-time finish on a cross from Kristofer Gardarsson.
Holding a 4-1 lead, the Blue Devils brought in backup goalkeeper Michael Reis for this first collegiate action. The sophomore got a quick welcome to the game when Duke was whistled for a foul in the penalty box. Reis read the shot from the 12-yard mark perfectly and denied the Terriers.
Wofford, however, did add a score in the 88th minute, beating Reis from the right side of the penalty area.
Pulisic finished with two saves, while Berson had three in 90 minutes of action. Reis’ penalty kick stop was his lone save in 10 minutes.
Duke resumes ACC play at No. 10 Virginia Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.