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Clemson women’s soccer staying hot ahead of postseason

Toby Corriston
After starting the season ranked No. 25, Clemson women’s soccer has climbed up to No. 8 in the nation.

Sitting at No. 8 in the nation, the Clemson women’s soccer team is currently the University’s highest-ranked varsity team. The Tigers started the preseason ranked No. 25 following last year’s 8-5-5 (4-3-3 ACC) record and have accelerated up the charts with just one loss to their name.

Under the guidance of head coach Eddie Radwanski, his squad has broken records and garnered accolades left and right. Senior goalie Halle Mackiewicz leads the nation in shutouts with 12 under her belt and is currently tied for third in program history. She has 37 saves on the season thus far, a relatively low number thanks to the play of the defense in front of her.

Led by senior Megan Bornkamp, the Tigers’ backline has emphasized clean control in order to minimize the number of corner and penalty kicks opposing teams are allowed, helping set the Tigers up for a postseason run.

Bornkamp, who played for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team earlier this year, has proven to be a versatile player for the Tigers. In the preseason, she moved up top and has been a major force there ever since, recording two goals and six assists in addition to her defensive prowess.

Across 17 games played thus far, the Tigers’ defense has allowed 45 shots on goal, just eight of which made it to the back of the net. Comparatively, the Tigers have 163 shots on target to total 44 goals for 14th in the nation.

Versatility in his players appears to be Radwanski’s secret weapon. The heartbeat of the Tigers’ offense is senior defender Makenna Morris, who leads the team with eight goals despite tallying nine total in her previous three years. Radwanski does not limit his players’ positions, placing them where he sees their talent growing rather than what the roster says.

“I just try and help the team as much as I can, whether that be with goals or assists, and try my best to be a playmaker out there, so anything I can do to help the team is really my goal,” Morris said.

The team’s incredible success this season can be attributed to new faces just as much as it is to experienced veterans. Freshmen Jenna Tobia and Dani Davis lead the team in assists with eight and six, respectively, and with the addition of Tatum Short, the Tigers have been able to create momentum and move the ball into the opposing team’s territory.

Postseason play is just around the corner, and the Tigers’ conference standings have them poised for success. In the ACC, the Tigers only sit behind Florida State, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation.

The first round of the ACC tournament commences soon, with round one of campus sites taking place on Sunday, Oct. 29. Seedings will be announced following the conclusion of the regular season on Oct. 26, with the top six teams earning a berth to the tournament and the top two receiving a bye to the semifinals. As Clemson currently sits in second place, fans can expect them to face off against either the No. 4 or No. 5 seed on Nov. 2 in Cary, North Carolina.

Following conference championships, details for the college cup in early December will be announced.

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About the Contributors
Grace O'Donnell
Grace O'Donnell, Sports Editor
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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