DURHAM – Duke’s men’s football saw a flurry of offense to claim a first-night victory, beating Liberty 3-0 on Friday night at Koskinen Stadium.
The Blue Devils dotted the Flames with 20 shots, seven shots on goal and three goals in the win. Senior Conor kelly opened the scoring in the 11th minute, while the second Miguel Ramírez added a countdown to the 59th minute and a second year Luke Thomas finished the victory with another in the 88th minute. Senior Eliot Hamill got his third career shutout in the regular season, making a five-shot save for the Flames.
“The intensity was there from the start,” said the head coach John kerr. “In the past we have had games where we didn’t start well and tonight we started well and we finished well. So for me I think we are making progress in understanding who we want to be. and not just who we are. We want to be very intentional, and we want to play hard and that’s what we did tonight. “
From the start, the Blue Devils offense buzzed with the Flames. Junior Scotty Taylor got the first big chance of the day with a shot that took off from the right post just in the eighth minute. Fellow striker Kelly would complete what Taylor started, scoring a goal in the lower left side for the Blue Devils’ first tally of the season.
It was a landmark achievement for Kelly, who scored the first goal of his college career in his 34th career game. The Rumson, NJ native was a vocal leader within the squad and immediately brought energy to the Friday night morning, shooting four shots in the game with another shot on goal added later in the match. evening.
The Blue Devils continued to attack Liberty goalkeeper Danny Cordero, who made some solid saves but was again bailed out by the post, as Pierre Stroud the pipe rang in the 36th minute. Still, the Blue Devils held a 1-0 halftime lead.
After some back and forth early in the second half, the Blue Devils combined for a brilliant passing game to set Ramirez in place. First-year student Ruben Mesalles notched his first career point with a strong pass to Thomas, who landed a cross that found the header from Ramirez, who delivered a brilliant finish in the right corner of the net to take the lead to 2-0.
The Blue Devils controlled the pace for the rest of the night, controlling the Flames offense. Thomas would put the game on the ice to seal an incredible college start, scoring deep into the box with a commanding finish to take a 3-0 lead. Thomas scored his first goal and assisted for three points on his college debut after joining the team as a substitute this season.
The Blue Devils will return to Koskinen Stadium to start the season 2-0, as they host Merrimack at noon on Sunday. The match will be broadcast on ACCNX.
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