The Devil’s in the details: Duke football and men’s soccer tally shutouts, no. 2 women’s soccer faces tough stretch ahead
They say the devil is in the details. But in Durham, the Blue Devils are in the details—and numbers.
The Mike Elko era has gone off to an excellent start. Not only did the defense record a shutout against an FBS opponent for the first time since 1989 in the group’s Friday night home opener against Temple, but the offense was clicking on all cylinders. The group scored 24 first-half points, the most since their 30-point first half against Northwestern early last season. Most notably, however, sophomore quarterback Riley Leonard completed his first 15 passes, one short of Duke football’s record for consecutively completed passes. He torched the defense throughout the game, displaying poise and accuracy, despite this being only his second collegiate start. The throws were not short, either. Leonard completed three passes over 30 yards, averaging 13.7 yards per completion. After a well-played game from both sides of the ball, the Blue Devils look to follow this thrilling performance with a matchup against a familiar foe as they travel to Evanston, Ill., to face the Northwestern Wildcats Sep. 10
For the second consecutive year, the Duke men’s soccer team is unscathed after three games, with not a single goal in any of the trio of contests. The team blanked Michigan 3-0 on Thursday to cap off a successful week of wins against San Diego and Milwaukee. Graduate goalkeeper Eliot Hammel has already recorded 10 saves on the season, with four from the game against Michigan. The offense has kept pace, as Duke ranks third in the nation in goal differential with eight. The 17th-ranked Blue Devils look to keep their shutout streak alive as they soon face a tough test, beginning conference play against Louisville September 10.
The women’s soccer team is off to a historic start—ranked second in the country—which is tied for the highest ever in program history. Nevertheless, the team faces a tough schedule, and will play three top-10 teams in the span of a week, including their already-played matchup with UCLA. That first game of the difficult stretch concluded Thursday night, as the Blue Devils fell for the first time this season, 2-1. Despite this, the team is poised for a great season, as it has won the first four games of the season, including edging no. 22 Tennessee 3-2. The Duke faithful can anticipate exciting contests this week, as the Blue Devils travel to face TCU on Sunday night and conclude the stretch by returning home for a game versus No. 1, and top rival, North Carolina.
The Duke volleyball team defeated Northeastern early Saturday morning to cap off an undefeated week with wins against ETSU and Rider. For the second straight game, the team recorded 12 aces, marking a season high. The aces were well distributed throughout, as sophomore Nikki Underwood added four on Friday night against ETSU, which was followed by senior Gracie Johnson and sophomore Rylie Kadel both recording an additional four on Saturday. This is certainly a strength of the Blue Devils, as they have recorded more aces in their games than each opponent they’ve played this season. Duke looks to keep this winning streak alive beginning with a 3-0 win in his Duke Invitational Saturday night against East Carolina before traveling to Elon Tuesday night.
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