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Sportswrap: Duke men's soccer advances to ACC semifinals, wrestling gets season started

Striker Thorleifur Ulfarsson notched two goals in Duke's win over Wake Forest in the conference quarterfinals.
Striker Thorleifur Ulfarsson notched two goals in Duke's win over Wake Forest in the conference quarterfinals.

Sportswrap is your one-stop shop for everything Duke athletics, where we’ll recap how each of Duke’s sports currently in competition performed over the last week and give a brief look ahead. Here’s our recap for the week of Nov. 1-7.

Football

The run of matchups against the top three signal callers in the conference is over, but the 0-3 mark during that stretch further revealed serious flaws within the Blue Devil program. In Saturday’s 54-29 homecoming defeat to Kenny Pickett, Jordan Addison and Pittsburgh, not even a safety and a kick return for a score could make it competitive for Duke. To add insult to injury, starting quarterback Gunnar Holmberg went out with an injury near the end of the first half, with his future status unknown. -Max Rego

Women’s Basketball

Much like the men’s team did against Winston Salem-State, Duke got a great round of rust-busting in a commanding 86-50 win over Wingate in an exhibition game Thursday. The Blue Devils looked sharp throughout, with junior Miela Goodchild leading the team with her 18 points, followed closely by Texas transfer Celeste Taylor with 17. Even if the result didn’t matter, this is the first time in almost a year that the Blue Devils have taken to the court following last season’s cancellation, and they will no doubt be happy to have logged some quality minutes and looked impressive in the process. -Andrew Long

Wrestling

The Blue Devils opened their season Saturday in Charleston, S.C., where they competed against the likes of No. 5 N.C. State, Air Force and Presbyterian. Placing third of six teams on the day, Duke performed impressively, with team leaders redshirt seniors Josh and Matt Finesilver taking home the first place titles in their weight classes. Saturday was the latter Finesilver's return to the spotlight after two seasons off the team, in which he took a redshirt year in one and sat out due to injury in the other. Also placing well was sophomore Logan Agin, who clutched the third-place title in his weight class in an admirable 19-4 win. The Blue Devils will take the road again Saturday to compete at The Mountaineer Invitational in Boone, N.C. -Ana Young

Men’s Soccer

Duke bested Wake Forest 3-2 Sunday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. With the win, the Blue Devils move onto the semifinals for the first time since 2018. Sophomore striker Thorleifur Ulfarsson continued his impressive season, with two goals scored just over a minute apart, and freshman Jai Bean scored the third, his first collegiate goal. Meanwhile, junior Cameron Kerr, head coach John Kerr’s son, had a big game, collecting his first career points with two assists. Next, Duke travels on Clemson Wednesday in the semifinals. The last time the two met, the Blue Devils fell 3-2 to the Tigers in sudden-death overtime. -Sasha Richie

Volleyball

The Blue Devils swept Wake Forest and Virginia Tech over the weekend, winning both matches in three sets. Friday’s Homecoming game saw Ade Owokoniran, Rachel Richardson and Gracie Johnson as the lead offensive players. Overall, the team had a hitting percentage of 0.250 compared to Wake Forest’s 0.077. Against Virginia Tech, Owokoniran led the team with 13 kills and Camille Nazor had 35 assists. Looking to the weekend, the Blue Devils travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass., Saturday to face up against Boston College. -Olivia Wivestad

Field Hockey

The Blue Devils’ season came to a disappointing end Thursday night, falling to No. 9 Syracuse 5-1 in the ACC championship quarterfinals. Duke was certainly handed a tough task in taking on the Orange, as it fell behind early in the game. Although the team hoped for more postseason action, the Blue Devils will hang up their equipment without an NCAA tournament appearance, hungry for the start of next season. -Matthew Hawkins

Swimming and Diving

In a home meet with Georgia Tech, the Blue Devil women bested the visitors 199-101, with the men falling 173-127. Freshman Yixuan Chang captured top honors in each of her three individual events, continuing her praiseworthy start to the campaign. Duke next jumps into the pool Nov. 18, for the N.C. State/GAC Invitational at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. -Max Rego

Duke men's basketball was off this week, as the regular season starts Tuesday night against No. 10 Kentucky. Duke women's soccer did not play as well, after a loss to Wake Forest in the ACC tournament last Sunday—the Blue Devils are awaiting NCAA seeding.

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