Pacific men's soccer's season came to an end tonight in the NCAA Tournament Second Round following a 1-0 loss to sixth-seeded Duke.
Pacific's defense stood up well to a Blue Devil attack and as the game progressed, the Tigers were able to open up play and create chances. However, Duke scored a second-half goal following a shot that was parried away by the Tiger keeper. The goal stood up as the game-winner.
"I thought the match went like we thought it would," head coach Ryan Jorden said. "We felt like we understood the opponent and also had a good handle on what we'd try to do in the match. If you look at what we tried to do in the match, and the chances that we created, we did enough to score a goal and go ahead. Even after we conceded, if we could've equalized, I think the momentum might have been with us at that point. I feel really good about the effort and the performance and the guys were terrific. Obviously, I'm bitterly disappointed about not getting a result because I think it was obviously a match that we were capable and in position to get a result out of. I thought the guys were terrific, as I have all year. Certainly, I'm indebted to the seniors and what they've given to this program for the leadership they've shown, the care they've had for the program and the foundation they've helped lay. It's a bummer because I was looking forward to coaching them for at least another week."
The Tigers went with a new formation to counter Duke's attack and it worked well. Duke controlled the opening minutes and looked strong going forward, but the Tigers were able to get into passing lanes and break up any opportunities the Blue Devils attempted to create.
As the first-half progressed the Tigers began to build with longballs forward and eventually began to put shots on target. Despite Duke's control early, the Tigers went on to outshoot the Duke 4-1 in the opening half. The best chance of the half also went to the Tigers when Senior Camden Riley fired a shot towards the top-left corner that just missed its target.
In the second half, the Blue Devils opened with a solid opportunity that the Tigers fended off when a run was made into the box from the right-wing and shot towards, goal, but blocked, a rebound fell to another Duke player who shot on, but sophomore Ethan Bandre made the save to keep the game at 0-0.
Moments later, Duke built into Pacific's 18-yard box and shot on goal. The first was parried away by sophomore goalkeeper Ethan Bandre who dove to make the save. The ball fell to Duke's Essa Rayyan who's shot evaded two defenders trying to guard cover the goal to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Pacific was close to scoring on numerous occasions including one in where freshman Cooper Riley put a low cross into the penalty area that found a Tiger and another when junior Andreas Charalambous floated in a free kick to sophomore Max Bilsborough who shot on goal, but the keeper made the save.
Pacific took four shots in the closing 20 minutes and created many more opportunities through good passes and strong runs, but failed to equalize.
- In the fifth minute, Camden Riley picked up a yellow card after he clipped Duke's diving goalie in the head while running down a long pass into the box.
- In the 37th minute, Camden Riley hammered a shot towards goal that went just high.
- Duke opened the half with back-to-back shots that were fended off. First Bandre fended off a shot with a save, sophomore Charles Brewah blocked another 30 seconds later.
- In the 54th minute, Jonathan Jimenez picked up a yellow card.
- In the 65th minute, Duke scored its goal which stood up to be the game-winner.
- In the 72nd minute, a shot by Bilsborough off of a Charalambous free kick was saved.
- In the 76th minute, sophomore Jose Sosa picked up a yellow card.
- In the 77th minute, Duke's Brandon Williamson picked up a yellow card.
- In the 85th minute, Duke's Daniel Wright was served a yellow card.