The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Clemson takes on Notre Dame in top-25 matchup

Aralynn Minnick, Asst. Photo Editor

Clemson forward Caroline Conti runs at Historic Riggs Field in a game against Texas A&M on Aug. 18, 2022.

The No. 24 Clemson women’s soccer team (4-1-2) will kick off conference play with a matchup against No. 6 Notre Dame (7-0-0) on Thursday night looking enter the championship-conversation with a signature win.
Coming off of a nail-biting 1-0 win against West Virginia, Clemson will host the undefeated Fighting Irish at Historic Riggs Field at 8 p.m. EDT.
Despite Clemson’s 3-2 upset victory over the Irish in the 2021 ACC Tournament, the Tigers enter this season’s matchup as underdogs.
Clemson’s defense has led to three shutout victories through its first seven games.
A stout defensive performance will be necessary this Thursday night, as the Fighting Irish average three goals per game this season. As of Tuesday, they ranked fourth in the ACC in goals per game and first in shots attempted. 
The offensive attack will be a handful for Halle Mackiewicz, Clemson’s junior goalkeeper.
Mackiewicz allows less than one goal per this season, a statistic that will be challenged by Notre Dame’s rapid-fire offensive play style.
Ranked fifth in the ACC in goals allowed per game, the Tigers’ defense and goalkeeping has been the team’s forte. The defensive juggernaut is led by junior defender Megan Bornkamp, Clemson’s sole preseason All-ACC selection. 
Not only does Bornkamp anchor Clemson’s defense, she also makes her presence felt on the offensive end, leading the Tigers in assists this season after leading the team in goals and total points in 2021.
Bornkamp has somewhat relinquished control of the Tigers’ offense this year, however. To this point in the season, sophomore forward Renee Lyles leads the team in almost every other offensive stat. 
With a team-high eight points and twelve shots on goal through seven games, Lyles will look to keep pressure on the Notre Dame defense. 
Offensive pressure will be a necessity to beat the Fighting Irish, as Notre Dame’s only weakness seems to be in its own goal. Notre Dame ranks in the middle of the pack in the ACC with a 76.9 save percentage.
Thursday’s matchup will be Clemson’s second major challenge of the season, as it tied No. 4 South Carolina 2-2 at the beginning of September.
By upsetting the undefeated Fighting Irish, the Tigers could state their case as a real threat in the ACC women’s soccer landscape.
In a conference perennially dominated by programs like North Carolina and Duke, Clemson may find some recognition with a win on Thursday. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *