Seventh-ranked Duke (3-0) used second-half soccer goals by Bob Jenkins and Mike Jeffries to defeat American University, 2-0, yesterday at AU.
"I was pleased with the way we played," said Duke Coach John Rennie, whose team finished 15-4-3 and ranked 11th in the nation last year.
"Since AU only plays two men in the middle, we were able to take the midfield away from them and control the game. Still, the fact they hadn't scored yet this season stayed in the back of my mind. I was afraid they might wake up."
Both teams played end-to-end soccer in the first half. Although clearly overmatched by Duke's defense on the front line, AU dominated midfield play. Sophomore midfielder Richie Burke controlled the game's tempo and got off three first-half shots, teaming well with forwards Dicky Coote and Mark DeBlois.
At 52:50, Jenkins took a short pass from Chris Sturdy inside the penalty area and scored in the left corner of the net.
After the goal, AU's offense broke down and Duke took full control. Fullback Jeffries, from Whitman High School, picked up his rebound and shot it into the left corner past Giordano to make it 2-0.
The loss dropped AU, which plays five of the nation's top 20 teams this season, to 0-1-2.