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Clemson United upsets No. 8 Duke

Toby Corriston
Clemson midfielder Brandon Parrish dribbles the ball against Duke at Historic Riggs Field on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. The Tigers defeated the Blue Devils 2-0 in an upset victory.

The Clemson men’s soccer team upset the No. 8 Duke Blue Devils 2-0 at Historic Riggs Field on Friday night in a physical and decisive game.

With 26 minutes left in the first half, Clemson defender Shawn Smart forced a ball from the right post of Duke’s goal into the box, which a defender deflected into the net for the first score of the night. With a 1-0 lead, the Tigers (4-2-1, 1-1 ACC) continued creating opportunities and moving the ball well but were unable to tack on another goal and entered the second half up one.

In the second half, Duke’s offense began to heat up, with Duke midfielder Kenan Hot sending a heater right into the crossbar, which was rebounded back in by forward Forster Ajago before ultimately being saved by Clemson goalie Joseph Andema. In addition, multiple freekicks from fouls in the midfield created chances for Duke to even the score, but the Tiger defense held strong.

With less than 17 minutes left in the game, Duke’s hopes for a comeback were squashed when a corner kick from Clemson midfielder Jackson Wrobel sent a ball right to forward Tyler Trimnal, who hit a header to the right side of the net, giving Clemson a 2-0 lead. Duke (4-1-1, 1-1 ACC) didn’t give up, sending multiple shots from outside the box. But despite the Blue Devils’ best efforts, Andema kept his cool, and Clemson ran out the clock to secure the win.

After the game, Clemson head coach Mike Noonan spoke on how the team played and the atmosphere of winning at home.

“Courageous,” Noonan said. “Coming off of traveling to Notre Dame, traveling to USF. The energy of the crowd, that carried us through. It’s the best place to play college soccer in the country, plain and simple.”

Clemson will try to ride its huge win when it takes on Gardner Webb at Historic Riggs Field on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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    Carol WaltersSep 24, 2023 at 10:50 pm

    This is excellent writing.