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Clemson soccer teams look ahead to ACC tournament

Caleb Browder, Photo Editor

Clemson midfielder Caroline Conti (23) makes a pass in a win over Utah. 

With a combined record of 25-6-2, Clemson’s soccer teams have been a force to be reckoned with in the ACC this season. With the regular season wrapping up for both teams, the men currently rank No. 2 in the nation while the women rank No. 22. Both teams have postseason aspirations starting with the ACC tournament which is set to begin next week. 

The men’s soccer team has been propelled by a high-powered offense that has produced a nation-leading 3.80 goals per game. In their past three games alone, the Tigers have racked up 16 goals. Both Robbie Robinson and Kimarni Smith rank inside the top ten in goals scored in the nation with 15 and 13 goals respectively. Grayson Barber has 24 points to his name as well, putting him within the top 25 point-scorers in the nation. From top to bottom, the Tigers have been getting offensive production. While the Clemson offense has led the way, no offense can win games on its own. The Tiger defense has held strong all season long, allowing less than a goal per game on average. In fact, aside from only two matches this season, the Tigers have kept their opponents to two goals or less. This combination of a potent offense and a sturdy defense has propelled the Tigers to a 14-1-1 record in the regular season. The Tigers are currently tied for the second best record in the ACC and are primed to clinch a first round bye in the ACC tournament. After getting knocked out in the first round of the tournament last year, the Tigers are already better positioned to improve upon last year’s performance. 

The Clemson women’s soccer team was propelled by an outstanding start to the season that saw them go 7-0-1. Since their ACC slate began however, they have fallen short in some close games. After winning their first ACC game against Notre Dame, the Tigers dropped four out of five games. Three of the four losses came by a single goal, and all of the losses came against teams currently ranked inside the top 12. The Tigers rounded out their regular season with two ACC wins over Pittsburgh and Boston College. After making it all the way to the semifinals of the ACC tournament a year ago, the Tigers will look to take the next step in the tournament in 2019. In order to do so however, they will need to build upon their last two games and find ways to win close matches against ACC opponents. 

While the Tigers still have work ahead of them, both teams have set themselves up for successful seasons. With postseason matches right around the corner, the Tigers will look to fine-tune their game ahead of the season’s most important matches. 

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