It would make sense to think that after 16 total shots and five of them on goal, the Blue Devils would find themselves on the scoreboard. But after 90 minutes of play Saturday night, that was not the case. 

Despite constant pressure and possession of the ball, the Blue Devils were shut out for the first time this season to snap a three-game winning streak. No. 19 Duke fell to ACC foe No. 8 Louisville 1-0 in its first home loss of the year at Koskinen Stadium. Although Duke controlled play for the majority of the game—especially in the second half—and outshot the Cardinals by 10, it still was not enough to get the win. 

“We feel confident in training, and I don’t know if they just lose concentration at the last second,” said Blue Devil head coach John Kerr, who was coaching against his former Duke teammate from the 1980s, Ken Lolla. “It’s disappointing because we didn’t benefit from all the fruits of our labor, because we played some really good stuff and created five or six chances that we’ve got to score to win.” 

With just 25 seconds left in the game, it looked as if Blue Devil senior Brian White was going to tie the game and take the battle to overtime when he received a pass from Brandon Williamson in front of the net, but he sent his shot flying over the top of the goal, sealing Duke's fate.

The only goal of the game came from one of Louisville’s only three shots in the first half with 4:53 left before the break. Leading scorer Tate Schmitt received a lob pass from Tim Kubel that left him wide open on the right side of the goal, and he finished the chance with a shot inside the near post. The Blue Devils (7-2-1, 2-2-0 in the ACC) contained the Cardinals afterwards, with goalkeeper Will Pulisic making three saves to keep them at only one goal. 

“We’re playing well and we really didn’t give them many looks at goal. Maybe one when they scored,” Kerr said. “We played a really good defensive game and created several opportunities from corner kicks to wide crosses. But at some point we’ve got to move on and take responsibility to get the W.”

Trailing at the half, Duke came out of the locker room trying to seize momentum and creating several opportunities, but could not finish any of them. Senior defender Kevon Black had a chance at goal less than two minutes into the half, but Cardinal goalkeeper Will Meyer made a stop from the left side of the net. 

Blue Devil sophomore Max Moser created a lot of trouble for the Cardinals (7-1-2, 3-1-0) going into the second half, especially on several corner kicks when he placed the ball in the box to create scoring opportunities, but again, none were converted. 

With 25 minutes left in the game, a cross to Duke senior Cameron Moseley left him wide open in front of the goal, but he still couldn’t seal the deal.  Yet another cross from sophomore Daniele Proch to Black did not produce a breakthrough.

“I think that anyone who watched the second half, we were doing all we wanted, and it sucks to say that we played well but didn’t win,” senior midfielder Cody Brinkman said. “We were right there and had six or seven chances and we just let it get away.”

Duke faces nearby rival Elon Tuesday night at Koskinen Stadium before it goes on the road for two straight games against Pittsburgh Oct. 6 and No. 14 Georgetown on Oct. 9.