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A year in review: Clemson athletics

Toby Corriston
The Clemson men’s soccer team defeated Notre Dame by a score of 2-1 to win this year’s College Cup National Championship.

For those in the area, Clemson is known for its rolling hills, bright blue lakes and vibrant student life. For those outside the Upstate bubble, the University is known for its top athletic programs and the continuous success of its many teams.

Several teams made a splash in national headlines from inaugural seasons to national championships — below are this year’s Clemson athletics highlights:

Men’s soccer wins it all:
The Clemson men’s soccer team defeated Notre Dame by a score of 2-1 to win this year’s College Cup National Championship. This was the Tigers’ fourth national championship in program history and second in just three years.

The second half of Clemson’s season saw the Tigers go on an undefeated streak, not losing a game since September 22 of last year. This streak ran through the ACC Tournament, where the Tigers went on to win the ACC Championship against North Carolina. Clemson followed up the ACC Championship win with a dominant run through the NCAA College Cup, which was capped off in the win against Notre Dame.

To add to their impressive hardware, Clemson’s star midfielder Ousmane Sylla took home the MAC Hermann trophy, a 10-pound crystal soccer ball awarded to the top NCAA soccer player.

Women’s soccer makes a run:
The Clemson women’s soccer team made a run in the NCAA Tournament this year, falling to the eventual champions, Florida State, in the semifinals by a score of 2-0. This marked the team’s deepest and best finish in the NCAA Tournament, making it to the Final Four for the first time in the team’s 30-year history.

The team was led by senior defender Makenna Morris, with ten goals and six assists in the season. Senior goalie Halle Mackiewicz was also a vital component of the team’s success, as she saved 64 shots in 25 games played and allowed only 18 goals.

Clemson men’s basketball is Elite:
The Clemson men’s basketball team entered the NCAA Tournament as an underdog with the No. 9 seed. The Tigers exceeded expectations and danced their way to the Elite Eight, where they fell to Alabama by a score of 89-82.

Senior center PJ Hall led the Tigers throughout the season, averaging 18.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game to snag first team All-ACC honors.

The NCAA Tournament saw another star prevail for the Tigers in senior guard Chase Hunter. Hunter scored 71 points for the Tigers in the NCAA Tournament alone, leading the Tigers in scoring in each of their tournament wins. His performance was highlighted in the first round, where he scored 21 points against New Mexico.

Clemson gymnastics shows out:

In Clemson gymnastics’ inaugural season, the team boasted a 6-3 record, advancing to the NCAA Tournament, where they fell in the first round to Iowa State by a score of 195.875-196.625.

Entering the season, many were unsure what to expect from the team, but strong performances and energetic crowds showed that Clemson gymnastics would be around for the long run. The team was highlighted by redshirt senior Rebecca Wells, Clemson’s strongest gymnast and a top performer in all events.

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