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Clemson men’s soccer looks to rebound to close out regular season

David Perez, Asst. Photo Editor

Sophomore defender Tanner Dieterich (6) has started all 11 games for the Tigers this season. He has also scored a goal and has one assist on the year. 

The Clemson Tigers men’s soccer team dropped their second straight match in heartbreaking fashion against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Friday night. 

Fresh off a double overtime road loss against No. 5 Wake Forest, the Tigers were looking to bounce back against another strong ACC opponent in No. 7 Notre Dame. The loss dropped the Tigers to 8-3 overall and 2-3 in ACC play. They are currently ranked No. 10 in the nation and have four remaining matches in the regular season. 

Following their 4-1 win over Charlotte on Sept. 26, the Tigers were entering perhaps their most challenging two weeks of the season. 

The Tigers were able to compete with two very talented ACC teams in Wake Forest and Notre Dame but were unable to come up with the deciding goal in either contest. 

The Tigers still have several big tests left on their schedule with No. 6 Louisville and No. 12 Duke looming in the future, and they hope that they can use these past two matches as a learning experience for the many tightly contested matches that will surely come later in the season.  

The first half of the Notre Dame match consisted of a few quality chances for both sides that were not capitalized upon. 

The Tigers nearly went ahead in the 18th minute after a bouncing ball in the box fell to freshman Robbie Robinson who just slid the ball wide of the post. Notre Dame had a golden chance of their own after Clemson keeper Ximo Miralles was caught out of position in the 23rd minute and Irish forward Jon Gallagher had a seemingly wide-open net. 

The shot from Gallagher was saved by a heroic goal line clearance from Clemson defender Patrick Bunk-Andersen. 

The Tigers roared back with a laser of a shot from over twenty yards out by Oliver Shannon that looked initially as if it could be the go-ahead goal. However, Irish keeper Chris Hubbard stopped the blast with a sensational diving save, and the teams went into the half deadlocked at 0-0. 

The first breakthrough of the match came moments after the second half whistle after a well worked play down the right side of the field resulted in Notre Dame’s Gallagher scoring his eighth goal of the year and giving the Irish a 1-0 lead. 

This lead did not last for long as less than three minutes later, Clemson midfielder Alexander Hemmingsen provided the equalizer for the Tigers. Hemmingsen, who was starting in his first match of the season, was able to tap the ball into the net after Jason Wright and Bunk-Andersen passed the ball through the Notre

Dame defense. 

The goal was the first of Hemmingsen’s collegiate career and further proved the talent of Clemson’s next generation of soccer. The Tigers have gotten significant contributions from underclassmen Malick Mbaye, Tanner Dieterich, the afore-mentioned Robinson and several others this season, which should give Tiger fans excitement about the future of this team. 

The crushing goal came in the 89th minute after Notre Dame forward Jeff Farina headed the ball into the net off of a free kick taken by Gallagher. The goal came as a

shock to the Tigers who had seemingly been waiting for the overtime period to begin. 

Perhaps the most frustrating statistic from this match is the fact that the Tigers outshot Notre Dame 19 to 8. Clemson

generally controlled the match and only looked vulnerable on a few counterattacks by the speedy Notre Dame forwards. 

The Tigers not only competed evenly with one of the best teams in the country, but they appeared to be the better team throughout the match. While the Tigers did not get the results they were looking for on Friday night, there are certainly some positive takeaways and reasons to believe that this team has a chance to make a deep postseason run. The Tigers are certainly looking to regain some momentum after what has been a deflating two games. 

The Tigers will have to shake off the loss quickly as they are back in action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Gardner-Webb at Historic Riggs Field. Later in the week, Clemson is hoping they can get back on track in ACC play as they hit the road to play No.12 Duke on Friday night at 7 p.m. 




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