DURHAM — One mistake proved costly for Duke on Friday night.
Stefan Carter struck for the games only goal by running onto a through ball after a Duke turnover in the second half to lift 19th-ranked Boston College to a 1-0 soccer victory over the Blue Devils at Koskinen Stadium.
Up until Carters goal, Duke (5-7-1, 2-4-1 ACC) had controlled possession and had the statistical edge. In fact, the goal for BC (8-4-3, 3-1-2) came on the Eagles first shot of the second half, 25 minutes into play at 70:02 when Carter found himself one-on-one with Duke goalkeeper James Belshaw.
Soccer can be a cruel game that way, Duke coach John Kerr said.
A Duke turnover in the midfield gave BC the ball in transition, and the Blue Devils hesitated to get back just long enough to give the Eagles an opening.
I saw our playmaker, Kyle Bekker, with the ball, said Carter, who notched his second goal of the season. He played it behind the defender, and there was a lot of space between the defender and the goalkeeper. I had an angle between the goalkeepers legs and went with that.
BC coach Ed Kelly gave credit to Carter, a senior who has played on defense and in the midfield as well as forward, where he started against Duke.
He worked his tail off all game and gave them fits up front, Kelly said.
Carters play was key because the Eagles lost leading scorer Charlie Rugg midway through the first half to a hamstring injury. Mostly the Eagles were content to let Duke possess the ball and dropped back to defend, something theyve done well lately.
Weve only given up one goal in nearly 500 minutes, Kelly said.
Duke outshot BC 16-8 overall, including 10-4 in the second half. But Justin Luthy made four saves for BC, while Belshaw finished with three. Duke also had a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks but was unable to get anything past Luthy.
We had several chances in the penalty area, Kerr said. We just cant get anything in the back of the net right now.
The best chance came with about nine minutes remaining, when Zach Mathers took a free kick for Duke about 35 yards out. The initial kick was cleared, but Mathers recovered possession and drove the left side to the goal line. His cross into traffic was broken up, and ultimately a shot by forward Will Donovan, who was Dukes busiest attacker with six shots, went wide right.
Duke battled right until the end, taking a free kick and a corner kick in the final seconds to no avail.
Theyre a good team, very disciplined and organized, Kerr said. Theyre like a counterpuncher in boxing, hit you when youre not looking. Thats what they did to us tonight.