Sitting one game below a .500 winning percentage in overall and ACC play, Duke resumes conference play against a strong Boston College squad, which has seen success both in and out of conference play this season.
The Blue Devils (5-6-1, 2-3-1 in the ACC), hoping to build off solid performances against No. 1 Maryland and Presbyterian, will face the Eagles (7-4-3, 2-1-2) in a crucial home match at Koskinen stadium Friday night.
Boston College defeated Duke 2-1 last year in the semifinals of the ACC tournament.
Duke goal keeper James Belshaw, who earned his third shutout of the season against Presbyterian, ranks second in the ACC this season with an .807 save percentage. He will play an integral role against the Eagles, who rank third in the ACC in shots with 72 so far this season. Boston College forward Charlie Rugg, who leads the Golden Eagles in goals and points with five and 14, respectively, will be the focal point of Duke’s defense.
Sebastien Ibeagha and freshman defender Zach Mathers have combined for five goals and five assists, bringing offense from the defensive end. Mathers is the only Duke player to play every minute of the season.
Duke has a perfect record this season when scoring two goals in a game as compared to scoring just one with a record of 1-4-0. For Duke to score more than one goal, the front line will need to improve, which could happen with the return of freshman forward Luis Rendon to the lineup.
The Blue Devils have relied on strong play in set pieces to score. Duke has scored five goals off corner kicks this season due to strong service from players such as Mathers and midfielder Ryan Thompson. The Blue Devils will look to diversify their offensive repertoire to beat Golden Eagle keeper Justin Luthy, who has four shutouts.
The Blue Devils were able to control possession against Presbyterian and tally 23 shots throughout the game. Defender Alex Saucuic netted his first career goal in the game, helping Duke rebound from a 2-1 loss to the top-ranked Terrapins.