DURHAM, N.C. – True freshman forward Ryan Masch, a local product of San Jose and Bellarmine Prep, allowed Santa Clara University a 2-1 road victory over Duke Friday night at the Blue Devil's John Rennie/Nike Invitational Tournament in Durham, N.C.
Trailing by a goal late in the second half, the Broncos (1-1-0) rallied to score twice, first when Erik Hurtado converted a penalty kick, followed by a brilliant shot from Masch, which put Santa Clara in front with 16 minutes left.
The homestanding Blue Devils (0-2-0) - coming off a 1-0 loss at No. 18 Notre Dame in their opener last week - broke a scoreless tie early in the second half, perfectly executing a set piece stemming from an SCU foul. However, Duke could not close the gap in the final 15 minutes, following what turned out to be the game-winner from Masch.
After a delayed start due to the tournament's opening game – N.C. State's 6-0 rout over Delaware – the first half saw Santa Clara and Duke share ball-control and chances to score.
The Broncos generated three shots in the opening half, nearly scoring when Hurtado broke free in the open field with 15 minutes to go before halftime. However, U20 US National Team defender Sebastien Ibeagha of Duke was able to tie Hurtado up from behind at the last moment to negate SCU's best chance in the first half.
Duke had its opportunities as well on the other end. SCU senior keeper Larry Jackson made a leaping save swatting-away a point-blank try from inside the box. Moments later a header by Nick Palodichuk hit the post and the match would remain scoreless at the half.
Palodichuk had another good look in the opening stages of the second half, only to see his shot go wide left.
Similar to Hurtado's break-away in the first half, he was able to get in behind the Blue Devil's defense before Ibeagha broke things up, just ten yards from the net.
Following a Bronco foul just outside its own penalty box, Sean Davis and Ibeagha connected on the free kick, with Davis serving up the cross to the far post, which Ibeagha headed past Jackson.
During a flurry of action in front of Duke's net, which included a Hurtado shot and subsequent save, the Blue Devils were cited for a hand ball and SCU was awarded a penalty kick. Hurtado calmly took advantage, converting the PK and tying the game 1-1 with 20 minutes left.
Three members of Santa Clara's highly touted freshman class – all former U17 US National Team members - Masch, Max Ornstil and Jared Hegardt saw extended playing time for the Broncos Friday in Durham.
It was Masch paying dividends in just his second collegiate game – drilling a shot from the top of the box, finding the top right corner of the goal.
Duke still had time and its chances, highlighted by a rocket off the foot of Davis in transition that hit the crossbar inside of the 10-minute mark.
There will be live stats for each game at this weekend's John Rennie/Nike Invitational Tournament in Durham, including Santa Clara's match Sunday versus N.C. State. The game is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. (PT).
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