WILMINGTON, N.C.-UNC Wilmington registered two goals in less than four minutes late in the second half to hand Duke a 2-1 setback in men's non-conference soccer action this evening at UNCW Soccer Stadium. The Blue Devils' goal came from junior center back Sebastien Ibeagha.
Duke scored first 10 minutes into the second half, but a penalty kick and a second goal in the final 10 minutes of the game lifted the Seahawks to the 2-1 victory. The Blue Devils fall to 3-4-1 overall, while UNCW improves to 3-5-1 for the year.
The first half was an even affair with the majority of play coming through the midfield. Duke registered the first shot of the game as sophomore Nat Eggleston headed a Ryan Thompson corner kick over the crossbar. UNC Wilmington evened the number in shots column when Colin Bonner sent a shot wide of the goal.
The Blue Devils came out with more intensity in the second half with every player being more active. After controlling the run of play early, Duke earned a corner kick from the right side for Thompson. The rookie midfielder sent a great service to the far post where Ibeagha headed home his team-leading fourth goal of the season and a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute.
Less than 10 minutes later, the Seahawks earned a free kick 25 yards from goal. The service came right to the center of the penalty area where Michael Recchia headed it low on goal. Blue Devils senior goalkeeper quickly got to the ground with a fantastic save to keep the shutout alive.
The Seahawks continued to press forward and, after a conference between the referee and assistant referee, were awarded a penalty kick for a handball with 9:23 left in the second half. Mateo Cardona stepped up and buried the shot to the left corner to tie the score 1-1.
With all momentum swinging in UNCW's direction, the Seahawks took advantage and went up 2-1 with 3:08 later. Nathaniel Goodwin found a streaking Jamie Dell with a through ball in behind the Blue Devils defense. Dell slipped in behind the backline and put it past Duke goalkeeper James Belshaw for the lead with just six minutes to play.
Duke made a final push looking for the equalizer, but could not find the back of the net as it dropped its first Tuesday night non-conference game since 2009.
UNC Wilmington had an 8-4 edge in shots, while Duke held a slight advantage in corner kicks, 6-5. Belshaw made three saves in the game as Duke had its shutout streak stopped at 403:22. Sam Williams did not make any saves for the Seahawks in 90 minutes of action.
Duke resumes its ACC schedule Friday night with the annual rivalry matchup with No. 6 North Carolina at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live by the ACC Digital Network on YouTube.
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