DURHAM, N.C. (August 30, 2013) – The Rutgers men’s soccer team opened the 2013 season on Friday night in a 1-1 tie with Duke at Koskinen Stadium, site of the Duke Soccer Classic.
Senior forward Kene Eze (Sayreville, N.J.), last season’s leading scorer for the Scarlet Knights, opened the 2013 season right where he left off in 2012. Closing last season with a golden goal in the season finale with Villanova, Eze scored RU’s first tally of the year. Eze managed to slip past Blue Devil goalie Alex Long for an open net goal in the game’s 21st minute.
RU held on to a 1-0 lead until the final minute of regulation. The Scarlet Knights, who held an 8-6 advantage in shots in the first half, were outshot, 17-3, in the second half. Duke’s Brody Huitema collected a rebound off his own blocked shot, setting up Zach Mathers to find the back of the Scarlet Knight net with only 13 seconds left in second half play to force overtime.
While Duke totaled four attempts at the RU net, the Scarlet Knights had a pair of corners to try and break the stalemate in overtime. However, after two 10 minute extra sessions, the contest ended in a draw.
David Greczek (Fairfield, N.J.) made his Rutgers debut in goal recording six saves during the 110 minutes of play. Long finished the night with five stops in goal for the Blue Devils.
“We came out in the first half and played really well,” said head coach Dan Donigan. “The ball got through on a deflected shot off one of their forwards. Obviously we are disappointed, but we still had the resiliency to not get down once Duke scored.”
“Some teams may squander that type of opportunity during overtime and come away with a loss, but we at least managed to walk away with the tie,” added Donigan. “We didn’t get the win, but it’s still a decent showing by our young team against a very talented Duke team that’s going to win a number of games. Our guys can certainly build upon this game and it will help propel us into Sunday’s match against a very good Elon team.”
The Rutgers men’s soccer team closes out action at the Duke Soccer Classic on Sunday at noon in a match-up with two-time SoCon champions, Elon. Elon tied Northeastern, 1-1, in the first game of the Duke Soccer Classic. Live stats will be available at GoDuke.com.
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