Since Duke's last victory Sept. 24 against Wright State, it has failed to register a win its last five matches. The Blue Devils will take to the road this weekend hoping to snap that streak.
Duke will head north to face ACC foe Boston College at Newton Campus Soccer Field in Newton, Mass. The Blue Devils have not played since last Friday’s 1-1 double-overtime tie against conference rival N.C. State.
Duke head coach John Kerr was quick to point out that a week's break from game action has been beneficial for his team.
“It gave us a chance to heal, to kind of reevaluate some things and also to give the players a couple of days to get their homework done and get some things organized,” Kerr said.
The Blue Devils (4-4-5, 0-3-4 in the ACC) have had ample time to focus their efforts on the Eagles (5-4-2, 3-3-1), who are fresh off a 2-1 home loss to North Carolina. Duke's staff has fixated on Boston College's speed up front. Freshmen Zeiko Lewis and Isaac Normesinu are two of the Eagles' top young weapons on the attack. Lewis already holds seven assists on the year, and Normesinu netted his second goal of the season against North Carolina earlier in the week.
“We’ve seen them on video, and they are very quick,” Kerr said. “They got three or four quick guys up front that are smaller, but they’re really talented and really direct, and they’re really good on the counter attack.”
Friday night's game will be played on turf at Boston College, which will only quicken the pace of the match. Although the Blue Devils play their home contests on grass at Koskinen Stadium, Kerr chose to train his squad on Duke's turf practice fields this week in order to prepare for the speed of Boston College’s attackers.
“The game is totally different,” Kerr said. “It is much quicker, and especially Boston College at night—the surface gets wet, and it really moves really quick.”
If Duke is to get its first conference win of the season Friday, the Blue Devil offense will have to recover from a recent dry spell. The team is averaging a mere 1.15 goals per game on the season, and has found the back of the net just once in its past three games. Duke has not scored multiple goals in a game since its last victory, which took place nearly a month ago.
Despite his team's struggles throughout its five-game winless skid, Kerr said that significant changes are not necessary to improve his team's scoring going forward—the goals will come.
“We’ve put some great balls across, we just have to get on the end of them,” he said.