Men’s soccer to take on Blue Devils

Photo by: Jessica Stanfield

Trevor McNaboe

 

Georgia Southern University men’s soccer team (1-1) has enjoyed a nice week off from games as it prepares for a big matchup with (1-1-1) Duke University today.

The Eagles are coming off hosting the annual Southern Conference/Big South Challenge, which saw them split the weekend and come out 1-1.

The Blue Devils also hosted their own tournament in Durham, N.C. a few weekends ago, and did not lose a game as they tied the home opener 1-1 against Rutgers University and defeated Northeastern University by a tally of 2-0.

While the Eagles have had a long layover between matches, Duke lost against Maryland University, which is ranked 13th in the nation according to topdrawersoccer.com, last Friday by a score of 3-1.

Last season, the road was not kind to the Eagles as they went 2-7-1 including losses to Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponents Wake Forest University by a score of 3-1 and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2-0.

Duke has performed well at home going 14-6-2 over the last two seasons and including the beginning of this season. Over that span, the Blue Devils have gone 1-0-2 against SoCon opponents.

The key players for GSU will be a pair of seniors.

Goalkeeper Neal Bates has been rock solid for the Eagles as he has just allowed three goals while recording 15 saves in the first two games. Opponents have taken a total of 28 shots with 18 being on target for a save percentage of .833.

Another senior the Blue Devils need to pay attention to is forward Witt Carlisle. In the two preseason games Carlisle recorded a hat trick against the University of Central Florida and in the regular season so far has recorded one goal and one assist.

Duke will rely heavily also on its upperclassmen to be the anchor of this fixture.

Graduate student goalkeeper Alex Long is a veteran keeper, and goals will be tough to come by as he has allowed only four goals this season in 290 minutes of play and averages a 1.24 goals allowed per game.

The Blue Devil defense have allowed 35 shots to be taken with half of them on goal, while recording a total of 47 shots and 17 on goal.

Junior midfielder Sean Davis will also be a key player as he has scored two goals for the Blue Devils this season. Davis has been a lynchpin for Duke for the past two seasons playing in 32 career games.

The game is set to kickoff tonight at 7:30 in Durham, N.C. and will begin a five game road trip for the Eagles.