For only the second time in the past eight years, Duke has reached the second round of the ACC Men’s Soccer Championship.
Senior defender Nat Eggleston stuck in a corner kick by Sean Davis for a golden goal with 3 minutes, 59 seconds left in the second overtime Wednesday night, lifting seventh-seeded Duke to a 3-2 victory over 10th-seeded N.C. State at Koskinen Stadium.
The Blue Devils (9-8-1) will travel to Syracuse to play the second-seeded and No. 1-ranked Orange at 1 p.m. Sunday in the quarterfinals. It’s the first time since 2011 that the Blue Devils have gotten that far in the tournament. N.C. State finishes the season at 7-7-4.
In the other first-round game Wednesday night, eighth-seeded Virginia eliminated ninth-seeded Virginia Tech 1-0 on a 55th-minute penalty kick by Todd Wharton. The Cavaliers will play at top-seeded Notre Dame in the quarterfinals. The other second-round games Sunday will have Louisville at North Carolina and Wake Forest at Clemson, all of whom had first-round byes.
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Duke set up the winning goal when Cameron Moseley got off a high shot from the right side that was deflected by a Wolfpack defender. On the play, Duke’s Bryson Asher went down in the penalty area after contact with an N.C. State player, but no foul was called,.
It didn’t matter. Davis’ low, driving corner kick was flicked to the far post by Brian White to Eggleston, who found a hole through the crowd for the senior defender’s second goal of the season. It was Davis’ 10th assist of the season and second on the night.
The first overtime was uneventful, but the final two minutes of regulation were wild. N.C. State went ahead 2-1 with 1:50 left when Holden Fender, a UCLA transfer, headed in a corner kick by Michael Bajza for his first goal of the season.
With their backs against the wall, the Blue Devils needed only 30 seconds to answer. Senior forward Nick Palodichuk scored from 10 yards off a cross from fellow senior Davis to tie it at 2 and force overtime, although Duke had one more chance in regulation.
Palodichuk took a free kick with 17 seconds left from 60 yards away, and the ball was loose in the penalty area, but Moseley was unable to get to it in time.
Duke has won three in a row, is 18-21-4 in ACC tournament play and has advanced past its tournament opener just once in the past seven years (2011 against Clemson, 0-0, advanced on penalty kicks).
N.C. State and Duke did not meet during the regular season, but the Blue Devils improved to 4-1 against the Wolfpack in ACC tournament play.
The Wolfpack came out quickly in the second half, seizing the advantage and soon broke through. Senior defender Matt Ingram crossed a ball from the right flank, and sophomore midfielder Yanni Hachem slotted it home at the left post at 49:02 for his fourth goal of the season and Ingram’s fourth assist.
Duke would equalize at 61:34, moments after White re-entered the match and ran onto a slotted pass in the penalty area from fellow freshman Asher. Despite frantic signaling from Wolfpack players, the offside flag stayed down, and White scored easily to the far post for his second goal of the season and Asher’s second assist.