They say the devil is in the details. But in Durham, the Blue Devils are in the details—and numbers:
Head coach Mike Elko’s perfect start ended against Kansas this week in a disappointing loss. Kansas got on the board first after a Trevor Kardell six-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. Duke was quick to respond as redshirt junior running back Jaylen Coleman ran into the end zone from five yards out, tying the score at seven. As the game continued, the Blue Devils made breakout efforts to keep up with Kansas, highlighted by sophomore quarterback Riley Leonard's 27-yard touchdown pass to Jalon Calhoun. It brought the deficit to eight points with only 2:40 left in the fourth quarter, but the big play wasn’t enough as Duke fell short and lost its first game of the season 35-27.
Their “best 90 minutes of the year,” according to head coach Robbie Church, were played by Duke women’s soccer Thursday against Boston College. The Blue Devils had the first five shots of the game, with freshman Kat Rader's shot from the top of the box putting Duke on the scoreboard in the 11th minute. The Blue Devils continued pressuring the Eagles’ defense and scored their second goal of the night in the 36th minute after a penalty kick by sophomore Michelle Cooper. Duke’s defense stayed strong against the Eagles as it held Boston College to only three shots. The game was put away when Cooper scored for the second time early in the second half, putting the Blue Devils up 3-0.
The men’s soccer team went head-to-head with Elon Tuesday, winning 1-0. Racking up 29 combined fouls, the Blue Devils and Phoenix were headstrong and battled for possession the entire game. Last week’s tie against North Carolina totaled 29 fouls as well. While the Blue Devils accounted for 13 fouls in the Elon match, it was a foul committed by Franc Gamiz Quer of the Phoenix that led to sophomore midfielder Shakur Mohammed scoring the only goal of the night. Duke's defense was strong as graduate goalie Eliot Hamill had four saves and the backline trio held firm. Despite the victory, the Blue Devils' foul count has been consistently high and could pose trouble as the season continues.
As the season continues, Duke volleyball had a long weekend, losing to Syracuse in four sets (25-18, 19-25, 22-25, 21-25) and Boston College in their second five-set match of the season (25-22, 12-25, 19-25, 25-21, 12-15). The Blue Devils are now 0-2 in ACC play after breaking their nine-game win streak. Though the conference season is off to a disappointing start, some players have still made their mark on the court. For the sixth time in senior Gracie Johnson’s career, she had 20 or more kills—this time, it was 20 against Boston College. Taylor Atkinson, Rylie Kadel and Johnson totaled 44 kills in that match, but it was not enough to stop the Eagles' .625 second frame hitting percentage, ultimately leading to Boston College’s victory.
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