#25 Duke Men's Soccer 2014 Preview

Duke Blue Devils

Overall Rank: #25
#6 ACC
#25 Duke Men's Soccer 2014 Preview
Duke Team Page


Some people may look at Duke winning nine games last year and think the team didn’t have a good season. Of course, that doesn’t tell half the story. Duke tied eight times in 2013, including five deadlocks in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Still, there is no doubt the team’s eight ties may have harmed the Blue Devils when it came time to pick the NCAA tournament field, as a simple 1-0 loss to Notre Dame knocked the Blue Devils out of further postseason action. This is a big reason why Duke hopes to step its game to a new level in 2014.

2013 Record: 9-5-8, 3-3-5
2013 Postseason: None
Coach: John Kerr

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Sean Davis, Senior, M, 6; Brody Huitema, Sophomore, F, 6
Assists: Zach Mathers, Junior, M, 5
Shots: Brody Huitema, Sophomore, F, 52
Saves: None

Other Key Returnees: F Luis Rendon, M/F Seo-In Kim, M Nick Palodichuk, D/M Jack Coleman, D Nat Eggleston

Key Losses: GK Alex Long, D/M Sebastian Ibeagha, M Tyler McDaniel, F/D Will Donavon, M Rob Dolot

The good news for Duke is it gets the two top scorers on the team back in Sean Davis and Brody Huitema. With six goals apiece, the return of this duo will help the Blue Devils gain some traction. Duke should be able to score as many goals this season if not more. Of the four players on the team that graduated, they accounted for just four of Duke’s 25 goals. The Blue Devils will also get a lot of help from returning talent like Seo-In Kim and Nick Palodichuk, who will anchor the midfield for Duke. Palodichuk was the team’s third leading scorer, so Duke can concentrate on other areas to rebuild.

Speaking of rebuilding, with Alex Long having graduated the Blue Devils do not have a returning goalkeeper in net. Alex Merrill played in one game last season but he is also gone, leaving three keepers with minimal college experience to man goal. Wilson Fisher played in one minute during the 2012 campaign and Wade Clement hasn’t even seen the field. Fisher is a senior and Clement is a junior so they know what the college game is like from watching it on the sidelines, but there’s no substitute for in-game experience.

Final Projection:
If Duke can overcome its lack of experience in net, the Blue Devils should do as well, if not better, than 2013. With the team’s three leading scorers back and an influx of 13 freshmen, including two first-year keepers, Duke should move up the ACC ladder and finish high enough to earn a tournament berth this time around.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.32 (90th in nation, 9th in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 0.93 (48, 4)
Shutout Percentage: 0.42 (36, 3)
Save Percentage: 0.816 (25, 1)

Madness 2015 MLS Draft Rankings:
#38 Sean Davis

Madness 2014 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#126 Carter Manley


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