DURHAM, N.C.—Duke sophomore Daniele Proch tallied a goal in the 13th minute to lead the Blue Devils to a 1-0 victory over Elon in non-conference men’s soccer action Tuesday night. The goal scored was just the fifth allowed by one of the nation’s top defenses in Elon, while Duke posted its fourth shutout of the year.
The Blue Devils improve to 8-2-1 overall and 7-1-1 at home as they hit the road for their next two games. Duke outshot the Phoenix 18-6 for the game, including 10-3 in the second half, dropping Elon to 3-2-6 overall.
“Overall I thought our performance was pretty good,” said head coach John Kerr. “I thought we pressed pretty well in the first half. We stepped it up to cause some havoc and we created some chances from our pressure, which I thought was good.”
Duke, looking to rebound from the 1-0 setback Saturday night, dominated the run of play from the opening whistle. The Blue Devils fired two shots on frame in the opening 10 minutes and then in the 13th minute, senior outside back Carter Manley served a perfect long ball into the penalty area that put Duke up 1-0.
Senior Cameron Moseley did well to use his size and flick the ball on behind the Elon defense where Proch ran onto it and slipped it past Matthew Jegier at the near post. The tally was his fourth of the season, while Manley provided his team-best fourth assist of the year.
The Blue Devils continued to press for a second goal before half, but were unable to connect as they headed into the locker room with the 1-0 lead. Elon did nearly equalize in the 22nd minute on a set piece, but Elijah Agu’s shot sailed over the bar.
The action remained in Duke’s favor in the second half with the Blue Devils generating good looks at goal with through balls from the midfield. Brian White was the recipient of a couple of those passes, but each time Jegier was able to come off his line to make the stop.
As Duke started to feel more pressure in the waning minutes, White nearly iced the victory in the 86th minute. Daniel Wright found White in behind the defense. The senior striker beat Jegier, but an Elon defender did excellent to recover and make the sliding save before the ball crossed the line.
The Phoenix refused to give up and earned a late corner kick and got one of its best chances of the night with 12 seconds left on the clock. Billy Beresford had the ball at the far post with time winding down and couldn’t beat goalkeeper Will Pulisic to send the game into overtime.
The shutout was Pulisic’s fourth of the year. He made two saves on the night, while Jegier had six, including a fingertip save to rob White of a score.
“They’re excellent,” Kerr said. “Will [Pulisic] does a great job in goal. The other back three are fantastic. They’re solid, they communicate well and they’re good on the ball so I’m really happy with them. They deserve the four shutouts they have so far.”
Duke resumes ACC play at Pittsburgh Friday, Oct. 6. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.