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First-half effort propel Clemson United into College Cup

With+the+win+over+Stanford%2C+Clemson+is+headed+to+the+College+Cup+for+the+10th+time+in+program+history.
Ashleigh Snyder
With the win over Stanford, Clemson is headed to the College Cup for the 10th time in program history.

The Clemson men’s soccer team defeated the Stanford Cardinal by a score of 2-0 at Historic Riggs Field in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

With a pair of Clemson goals, as well as an excellent showing on the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers are heading to their second College Cup in three years.

The Tigers got hot early, striking first to take the lead. A corner kick from midfielder Joran Gerbet crossed to the head of defender Gael Gibert, who put it past Stanford goalkeeper Rowan Schnebly to break the deadlock in the seventh minute.

Thirty minutes after the first, Clemson’s second goal of the half came off a deflection from freshman Arthur Duquenne after Schnebly was able to get a hand on the ball, which remained loose, allowing sophomore Tyler Trimnal to strike it home to make it a 2-0 game heading into halftime.

The Cardinal brought the pressure at the beginning of the second half as they began to create more and more chances with their season on the line. Clemson’s defense, headlined by Gibert, Shawn Smart, Pape Mar Boye and Adam Lundegard, responded with the same amount of physicality to allow head coach Mike Noonan’s squad to keep a two-goal cushion.

Despite the game turning into a defensive affair, the Tigers held strong, keeping the clean sheet until the final whistle, making the Tigers victorious in their final home match of the season. With the win, Clemson will make its 10th College Cup appearance in program history.

Clemson held Stanford to only two shots on net throughout the entire match and a barrage of free kicks and corner kicks in the second half.

“I think we are really starting to click at the right time, and we are starting to get even more chemistry together,” Lundegard said of himself and his defensive unit.

From Noonan’s point of view, the focus on Saturday’s quarterfinal game was imminent from the beginning, and he hopes to see that next week.

“The guys were very focused,” Noonan said. “We don’t look at those types of things; we are looking at 90 minutes and being the better team over 90 minutes, and we were, and we hope to be the better team over 90 minutes against West Virginia next week.”

With a trip to the College Cup official, Clemson will face the No. 5 West Virginia Mountaineers in the College Cup semifinals on Friday, Dec. 8.

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Griffin Barfield, Asst. Sports Editor
Ashleigh Snyder, Photo Editor
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