The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Men’s soccer advances in ACC Tournament

The Clemson Tigers men’s soccer team prevailed in a wild contest against Syracuse Wednesday night. After regulation play ended 2-2, the Tigers survived an early upset bid by winning the penalty shootout 4-3. 

The first half of the match consisted of relatively sloppy play from both sides with very few quality chances. Both sides were clearly aware of the magnitude of the match and it appeared as both sides had to overcome their nerves in the early stages of the match. The Tigers were unable to maintain possession and pressure the defense like they normally do, and the result was a scoreless first half. 

The second half of the match was a complete antithesis to the first half in that it was one of the most eventful and exciting halves of the season. The first breakthrough came from Syracuse forward Tajon Buchanan after a breakdown in the left side of the Tiger defense in the 60th minute. Buchanan slotted the ball into the corner of the net after running in alone with the keeper. The goal came as a shock for the Tigers who had once again given up a counter attack goal after seemingly seizing control of the match.

Thankfully, the Tigers were able to respond 10 minutes later when captain Olivier Shannon sent a low cross into the box to forward Saul Chinchilla, who tapped the ball into the net to equalize. Shannon arguably had his best match of the season as he seemingly willed his team through the match. Shannon stepped up again in the 75th minute when his shot caused Syracuse keeper Hendrick Hilpert to make a diving save. After deflecting off the keeper’s outstretched hand, the ball fell to Clemson defender Patrick Bunk-Andersen who smashed home the go-ahead goal. The Tigers celebrated what appeared to be the game winning goal, but Syracuse wasn’t ready to give up yet.

Three minutes after the Tiger goal, chaos erupted at Historic Riggs Field. A Syracuse cross from the left side of the box ended up forcing Clemson keeper Ximo Miralles to make a diving save. The ball deflected several times after Miralles got a hand to it, and it eventually hit the crossbar and was cleared near the goal line. After the clearance, several Syracuse players contested that the ball crossed the goal-line, and the referees decided to take a look at the play on a replay review. During the review, players began shouting and shoving, and coaches had to separate the two sides from one another. The referees announced after the review that the ball did cross the goal line, and Syracuse tied the score with under two minutes to play. The Tigers had to regroup after a rollercoaster five minutes of play before the extra time periods began.

The extra time periods resulted in a few minor chances for the Tigers, but there was never a moment where either side really threatened to score. The extra time periods resulted in more shoving and physical play from both sides, and the referee was forced to call several fouls in order to maintain control of the match. The referees blew for forty-one total fouls and awarded seven yellow cards, six of which were given to Syracuse players. The extra time period ended with the score still even at 2-2, and the two sides went to penalties.

The penalty shootout began on an inauspicious note for the Tigers when captain Tanner Dieterich sailed his shot over the bar. Thankfully for the Tigers, Syracuse defender Kamal Miller rung his shot off the post and the first round ended 0-0. The Tigers and Orange matched makes and misses for the next four rounds until Clemson midfielder Harrison Kurtz finished his penalty to put the Tigers ahead 4-3. On the attempt to even the score, Syracuse forward Johannes Pieles missed his attempt and the Tigers prevailed. 

The Tigers were likely hoping that their opening match of the postseason would go more smoothly, but the Syracuse match prepared them for anything and everything that might come their way. 

The match was the first of the postseason for the Tigers, and with the win they advanced to the quarterfinals in a matchup with the Duke Blue Devils. The Tigers took on Duke earlier this season. Clemson defeated the Blue Devils 4-1 on the road thanks to a Diego Campos hat trick. 

Sunday, against the Blue Devils, the Tigers’ lone goal came from a Campos penalty kick after he was brought down in the box. 

Clemson advanced to the semifinals by a score of 1-0. They will play at Wake Forest on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *