DURHAM, N.C.—After hovering in the receiving votes list of the United Soccer Coaches national rankings, the Duke men’s soccer team has broken into the top 25 at No. 23. The Blue Devils are 4-0-1 overall and gearing up to play No. 8 North Carolina Saturday night.
Indiana, which Duke played to a 1-1 draw is the newest team atop the rankings, while future ACC foes Notre Dame and Syracuse are second and seventh, respectively. Overall, eight of the 12 ACC teams is ranked in the top 25.
Duke is ranked in the top 25 in all four of the national polls, coming in as high as 15th by Top Drawer Soccer. The Blue Devils were tabbed 16th by College Soccer news this week and 25th by Soccer America. It marks the first time since Sept. 15, 2015 Duke has been in the top 25 of the coaches’ poll.
One of 25 current unbeaten teams in Division I, the Blue Devils are coming off of a commanding 3-1 victory over ACC foe Virginia Tech. Duke’s triumph over the Hokies was never in doubt as it controlled the pace and run of play and held the Virginia Tech offense to just seven shots.
Duke is led on offense by senior striker Brian White’s four goals and nine points. Three other Blue Devils have two goals apiece, including senior center back Markus Fjørtoft. Offensively, Duke leads the ACC in shots per game and is fourth in scoring offense at 2.40 goals per game. The Blue Devils have scored a goal in the first half in four out of its five outings, winning each one.
Defensively, Fjørtoft and classmate Carter Manley are the leaders of a talented backline. Rookie Matthias Frick rounds out the back three and freshman Will Pulisic is the final line in goal. Pulisic owns two shutouts, a .757 goals against average and a .765 save percentage. His two clean sheets match the total from 2016.
The newly-ranked Blue Devils hit the road for the first time this weekend, traveling to Greensboro, N.C., to take on the eighth-ranked Tar Heels. Kickoff is set for Sept. 16 at 7 p.m., at Bryan Park.