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Paws up, paws down: Clemson United dominates Louisville in ACC Tournament semis

Toby Corriston
Midfielder Elton Chifamba celebrates after the ACC semifinal at Historic Riggs Field on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

The No. 4-seeded Clemson Tigers defeated the No. 9-seeded Louisville Cardinals in a 5-1 blowout on Wednesday at Historic Riggs Field. With the win, the Tigers advanced to the ACC Tournament final, where they will play the University of North Carolina. Here are the ups and downs of the game:

Paws Up: First-half success

Clemson led the Louisville Cardinals by a score of 3-1 heading into the half. The Tigers took an early lead against the Cardinals with a goal scored by freshman forward Remi Okunlola in the 7th minute.

Louisville was able to tie the game at 1-1 in the 19th minute. However, the Tigers bounced back and scored two consecutive goals following the Louisville equalizer. Both of the goals were scored by senior midfielder Ousmane Sylla. The first goal came in the 31st minute, followed by another goal in the 36th minute, assisted by Okunlola and freshman defender Arthur Duquenne.

The Tigers also looked strong on the defensive side of the ball, allowing two shots in the first half, with only one shot on goal. Clemson’s defense didn’t allow a single corner kick to the Cardinals, while the Louisville defense gave up six.

Paws Up: Dominance on both sides of the ball

The Clemson men’s soccer team was unstoppable against Louisville, as they scored four unanswered goals en route to the semifinal victory. The victory marked the second time this season that Clemson has beaten Louisville by four goals, with the Tigers defeating the Cardinals 4-0 earlier in the season.

The Tigers had four different goal scorers in the game and were able to score at will against the Cardinals. Sylla’s performance led the way for the Tigers, as his two goals in the first half were the only two goals he scored. The other Tigers to score were Okunlola, forward Isaiah Easley and defender Gael Gibert. Duquenne was a top facilitator for the Tigers, as he had three assists during the game.

Clemson’s defense did not let up during the game either, as it only allowed one shot on goal. Louisville had three total shots compared to Clemson’s 28 and 18 shots on goal. The Tigers’ defense also only allowed two corner kicks in the entire game, both coming in the second half.

Paws Down: Missed opportunity

Although the Tigers dominated a majority of the game, they did miss a goal-scoring opportunity in the first half of the game to give them a three-point lead heading into the half.

This opportunity came in the 44th minute of the game and was a penalty kick for the Tigers due to a Louisville handball. Clemson forward Mohamed Seye missed the penalty as he shot the ball to the bottom left of the net, and the Louisville goalie saved it. Although this miss didn’t affect the outcome of the game, the Tigers will need to capitalize on these opportunities heading into the ACC tournament final.

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About the Contributors
Luke Beard
Luke Beard, Asst. Sports Editor
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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