Devils, Deacons advance in men's soccer

ACC foes to meet in NCAA soccer's third round

From college news releasesNovember 23, 2009 

The Duke men's soccer team scored two first-half goals and held on to earn a 2-1 victory over 14th seed Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday at East Lansing, Mich.

The 20th-ranked Blue Devils (14-6) advanced to the third round for the first time since 2006 and will play Wake Forest on Sunday in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest defeated UNC Wilmington 2-1 in its second-round game.

Junior defender Christian Ibeagha and freshman defender Andrew Wenger scored for Duke.

The Blue Devils had to hold off charging Michigan State (11-8-2) in the second half.

"The defending really was [the key to victory]," Duke coach John Kerr said. "We didn't do much attacking-wise, and we didn't make the most of one or two opportunities we did have in the second half.

"We didn't play well offensively in the second half, so it came down to defending, and the back four did extremely well. James Belshaw made a couple of good saves on some shots by Michigan State. They fought their hearts out and made life difficult for us today."

Duke dominated possession in the opening 45 minutes, and Michigan State controlled play in the second half.

"I think we got nervous at halftime with the lead," Kerr said. "It's a dangerous lead, a 2-0 lead, and we knew if they scored they would be back in the game. Mentally, it would be in their favor. Luckily for us, we defended well toward the end and made some big plays defensively to clear out some good crosses by Michigan State, and we held on toward the end."

The Blue Devils just missed an opportunity in the first half when they earned a free kick about 35 yards from goal. Cole Grossman served a ball into the back post, where Ibeagha headed it just wide of goal to keep the score 0-0 with less than 20 minutes to play.

Also Sunday

Wake Forest 2, UNC Wilmington 1: Austin da Luz and Anthony Arena staked Wake Forest to a two-goal lead, and the host Demon Deacons held off a late rally by UNC Wilmington to claim a victory in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

"I thought it was a great second-round game," Wake Forest coach Jay Vidovich said. "UNC Wilmington gave us a heck of a contest. Hats off to them and their performance. I'm very proud of my guys and their performance to get the result. I just see them getting better each game."

Wake Forest finished the game with a 14-6 advantage in shots, including a 9-2 edge in shots on goal.

Wake Forest (15-3-3) will host Duke in the third round at 5 p.m. Sunday.

UNC Wilmington finished with a 14-3-5 record.

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