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Clemson’s College Cup run ends with loss to Florida State in semis

Toby Corriston
Clemson’s Megan Bornkamp jumps up to find the ball near the net in the Tigers’ match against Florida State in the College Cup semifinals in Cary, North Carolina, on Dec. 1, 2023.

CARY, N.C. — Florida State’s offensive attack was too much for the Clemson women’s soccer team on Friday night, as the Tigers’ 2023 campaign came to an end in the College Cup semifinals with a 2-0 loss to the Seminoles.

The match started off very physical, as the teams committed 10 fouls in the first half. Clemson (18-4-4) had Emily Brough and Tatum Short making moves along the wing, giving the Tigers eight shots on net.

The Seminoles (21-0-1) opened up the scoring off a counterattack half-volley recorded from Kaitlyn Zipay in the 38th minute. Despite outshooting the Seminoles by three in the opening half, the Tigers weren’t able to mount any convincing chances and entered halftime down 1-0.

The second half provided just as much of a challenge as the first half. Florida State added another goal when forward Jordynn Dudley dribbled past the Clemson defense across midfield, firing a right-footed shot in the upper right corner.

Despite allowing two goals, Clemson goalkeeper Halle Mackiewiez did all she could in the net, recording five saves on the night.

The closest chance came for the Tigers in the 70th minute when Makenna Morris slipped past the defense with a one-on-one chance against the goalkeeper. Her chip attempt was just over the bar, ultimately marking the third time Clemson was shutout this season.

“For me personally, I’m just incredibly proud of this group and (having the pleasure) to coach and watch them grow and develop not just as players but as people,” Clemson head coach Eddie Radwanski said after the loss. “Losing the game, it hurts, but recognizing the incredible season and the incredible accomplishments is something that will resonate with (them). We wanted to win the game, but four teams make it here. Only one can make it out on top.”

Friday’s loss marked the third time Clemson fell short against the Seminoles this year.

While 2023 was historically one of the best for Clemson, senior forward Megan Bornkamp expressed how it raises the standard for the program in future years.

“This is what a lot of us came here for, to play at the highest level… this is what we expect every team to accomplish, and that’s what’s gonna motivate us moving forward.”

Bornkmap will be returning for a fifth year in 2024.

Clemson’s appearance in the NCAA semifinal marked the furthest run in program history.

“I still think it is useful to remember that we had so much fun together and experienced so much together, so it’s something I will never forget,” said graduate forward Caroline Conti, who played her 100th and final game for the Tigers.

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Patrick Driscoll
Patrick Driscoll, Senior Reporter
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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