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Mackiewicz, Duff send Tigers to ACC Tournament semis

Toby Corriston // Contributor
Clemson defender Mackenzie Duff (9) scored the lone goal for the Tigers in their 1-0 victory over Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Sunday, Oct. 29.

The Clemson women’s soccer team opened the first round of the ACC Tournament with a victory, as the No.3-seeded Tigers edged past No. 6-seeded Wake Forest by a score of 1-0 at Historic Riggs Field on Sunday.

Just two minutes into the game, Clemson’s Mackenzie Duff capitalized on a clearance attempt, finding the ball at her feet just outside the six-yard box of the Demon Deacons’ goal. At that point, she struck a half-volley into the bottom left corner of the net, giving the Tigers the early lead.

Following the early goal, both teams combined for just five more shots on goal for the rest of the game, none of which found the back of the net.

After the game, Clemson head coach Eddie Radwanski acknowledged the significance of the Tigers’ performance in the match.

“I thought our concentration was very good across the whole game, but especially in the second half. I thought our overall team defending was solid. Look, we got another shutout,” Radwanski said. “I think games like this help you when you are in a tournament or in the NCAA’s because, you know, you get tested in different ways, and this was a good challenge for our group, and I thought we passed it pretty well.”

As is often the case for the Tigers, goalkeeper Halle Mackiewicz played a pivotal role, as she tallied three saves in the game. Mackiewicz’s performance not only ensured the victory but also saw her etch her name into the record books. Her 13th shutout of the year broke the longstanding Clemson record for most shutouts in a season, a record previously held by Katie Carson since 1999.

“I couldn’t have done this without my team, obviously,” Mackiewicz said. “I feel like our team this year has a lot of chemistry, and we’re in a good place. We’re always laughing and having a good time, so it’s been really special to do it with this group of people.”

With the win, the Tigers advanced to the Semifinals of the ACC tournament and will travel to Cary, North Carolina. They’ll be squaring off against the No. 2-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a rematch from last week, in which the Fighting Irish handed the Tigers their second loss of the season.

“Look, we get the opportunity to show other people what we’re capable of doing because we didn’t play very well in the game, but Notre Dame, to their credit, played very well,” Radwanski said. “They were the better team in that game. So we’ve got to come back out and make a better statement for ourselves. I’m pretty sure we’ll do that, but it’s again two of the better teams in the country, and it’s the ACC semifinal. There’s a lot at stake, you know, the winning team gets to compete for a championship, and that’s been our goal all season.”

The showdown between these two teams is scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. EDT at WakeMed Soccer Park in North Carolina.

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Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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