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Men’s soccer working towards postseason: Tiger offense continues to improve

Isaiah del Campbell, staff

Diego Campos (10) prepares to take a corner kick for Clemson.

Clemson men’s soccer defeated Pittsburgh 3-0 in their third ACC matchup of the year. It was the third shutout of the year for the Tigers and the second straight multi-goal victory. While the offense was a point of concern early on in the year, it appears as if the Tigers are starting to find their offensive rhythm once again. 

With conference play in full swing and a tough slate of games facing the Tigers, it’s time to look at what has and has not been working for the Tigers so far. 


Ximo Miralles 


The junior goalkeeper has played well through eight games, allowing only four goals. In the Tigers’ matchup with NC State on Sept. 8, Miralles broke his nose during a collision in the box. He was forced to exit the game, but has started every game since then wearing a mask to help protect the injury. It hasn’t seemed to slow Miralles down; he has not allowed a goal in the three matches since. 

If the Tigers want to continue to compete at a high level, the young goalkeeper will have to continue playing this well. Anyone who watches Miralles can see his instincts. He seems to always know when to come out for a ball or stay in net and let his defenders work. He has had great success, but he has to stay healthy as the season continues and the competition level increases. 


Patrick Bunk-Andersen


Staying on the defensive side of the ball, the junior defender has played wonderfully all season. He has started every game except one, where he was benched for an unknown reason. 

He and Malick Mbaye have been the anchors on the back line, giving Tanner Dieterich more freedom to move up the field and get involved in the attack. This has proved vital as Dieterich has given the offense another weapon to utilize, aiding them in getting out of their slump. 

Andersen is experienced and often the one to make the last-minute tackle to avoid a potential shot. Andersen may

do a lot of the grunt work for the team, but he does

it well. 

Jason Wright / Diego Campos


This offensive duo has proved to be effective this season. While Tiger fans recognize Campos’ name and associate him with attacking prowess, Wright has become another speedy offensive weapon for the team. 

With the addition of Wright playing up top, Campos has played more in wide positions and even in midfield when needed. Campos no longer has to be the lone target on passes in the attacking third, giving the offense more creativity and the opposing defenses more to worry about. 

While goals have come in spurts for the Tigers, these two seem to always be involved in the plays that make them possible. Wright’s speed and Campos’ creativity draw most of the attention from opposing defenses, allowing the other Tigers to score goals. 


Midfield Play


This may be the area the Tigers need the most improvement in. While Clemson has plenty of talented players in the midfield, opposing teams have had their way with them on several occasions. There are moments when Clemson struggles to keep possession through the midfield, making it harder on the offense to get an attack going. At times, it seems the Tigers are too content playing with possession, stringing together multiple passes without any real purpose, which eventually leads to turnovers. These turnovers put the defense in trouble, especially with Dieterich and other defenders moving upfield to aid the attack. The quick loss of possession makes it hard for Clemson to transition, and most of other teams’ opportunities have come off such turnovers. 


Overall, Clemson continues to show improvement in every game they play. Assuming that trend continues, that puts the Tigers in good shape for postseason play, the time when they want to be at their best. 

Clemson has plenty of big names on the team and even more talent less widely recognized. If they can put complete performances together against the remainder of their opponents, they have a real chance of making a splash in the NCAA Tournament. 

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