DURHAM, N.C.—Duke freshman Brandon Williamson had a night to remember as he scored a pair of goals to lead the Blue Devils to a thrilling 2-1 double overtime upset over No. 4 Notre Dame in ACC men’s soccer action. Senior Robert Moewes was outstanding with seven saves to help send Duke’s six seniors out on a high note in their final regular season game in Koskinen.
“It was a total team effort,” said Williamson. “I got a beautiful cross in from Max [Moser] and I was in the right place at the right time and I did what I could to put it in the back of the net.”
The win over the No. 4 Irish is Duke’s second against a top-10 team this season - the Blue Devils also beat No. 9 UCLA 1-0 in September. Duke improves to 6-6-2 overall and 2-4-1 in ACC play. The victory over the Fighting Irish is also the first for the Blue Devils since 1992, stopping a six-game skid.
“I thought we were superb tonight,” said head coach John Kerr. “I thought we were very good and we were playing against an excellent team so to maintain our poise and fitness level to the end was very impressive.”
The two goals from Williamson, who earned a starting role recently, were the first of his young Blue Devils career. He is the second rookie this season to record a pair of goals, joining Suniel Veerakone in the exclusive club.
Notre Dame (10-4-1, 3-3-1) forced a defensive miscue and capitalized just four minutes into the game. Jon Gallagher forced the turnover and tapped it to Mark Gormley who touched it in for the 1-0 lead.
Duke, like it has done all season, showed great resiliency in battling back from the early goal. The Blue Devils started to take advantage of the open spaces on the flanks with Williamson and fellow rookie Max Moser wreaking havoc.
After having arguably the better of play since approximately the 10-minute mark, Williamson equalized for the Blue Devils in the 35th minute, firing a low shot into the right corner of the goal out of the reach of Chris Hubbard. The play started with Carter Manley swinging a ball into the box where Cameron Moseley’s header was deflected out by a Notre Dame defender to the feet of Williamson. The Virginia native struck it perfectly and Hubbard had no chance to make the stop.
The Blue Devils continued to press forward and find success on the outside with Moser as well as through the middle with Cameron Moseley and Brian White, whose shot in the 66th minute skimmed the crossbar and over the endline.
Right on the doorstep of scoring for much of the second half, Moser was the next to find the woodwork, hitting the post in the 81st minute as the two teams battled to the 1-1 score after 90 minutes.
Duke had the better of play in the first overtime, but couldn’t come away with anything to show for it and headed into the 100th-plus minute of soccer.
In the second overtime, Moewes shined as he denied Notre Dame time after time. He made three saves, all of them point-blank, and none more impressive than the final one against Notre Dame’s top scorer that ultimately led to Williamson’s game winner.
With time winding down under the two-minute mark, Moser settled a Notre Dame goal kick at midfield and immediately pressed forward into the open space. Just like he had been doing all night, the Austrian native whipped a ball into the back post where Williamson chested it down to his right foot and buried it past Hubbard for the win. The assist was Moser’s team-best sixth of the year.
Duke closes out non-conference play Oct. 25 at Elon. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.