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No. 24 Clemson shuts out No. 6 Notre Dame in upset

Aralynn Minnick, Asst. Photo Editor

The Clemson women’s soccer team celebrates during its match with No. 6 Notre Dame at Historic Riggs Field on Sept. 15, 2022. 

The No. 24-ranked Clemson women’s soccer team (5-1-2) opened ACC conference play in dominant fashion on Thursday night, shutting out No. 6 Notre Dame (7-1-0) at Historic Riggs Field.
A flawless defensive showing coupled with goals from senior forward Sami Meredith and freshman midfielder Emily Brough made the difference in Thursday’s 2-0 victory.
At the 20-minute mark, Clemson defender Harper White sent a ball to a streaking Caroline Conti, who finished the breakaway with a cross-field pass to Meredith.
Meredith then put the goal in to give Clemson the lead. 
Then, at the 58-minute mark, Clemson’s final goal came on a shot from Brough, who sent the ball through the goal’s bottom left corner.
The goal was once again assisted by White, who led Clemson’s overwhelming offensive attack during the possession.
After the game, Clemson head coach Eddie Radwanski acknowledged that starting out on a strong note was key in the victory.
 “It was a big part of our game plan,” Radwanski said. “We wanted to come out and not give them any time on the ball. Nobody’s pressed them as much as we did tonight, and we’re pretty good at it.”
The Tigers scored twice despite the absence of sophomore forward Renee Lyles, who missed the game due to a family emergency. Lyles still leads the team in total points.
On the other side of the field, Clemson goalkeeper Halle Mackiewicz had a career night between the posts.
The junior reached a season-high in saves, leading to a lights-out performance on the defensive end.  
Her performance was complemented by a stifling performance by the defensive unit as a whole. As the Fighting Irish tried to build momentum and seize opportunities throughout the game, the Clemson defense was always there to influence shots and make scoring difficult. 
“It’s hard to get a shutout in soccer,” Radwanski said. “To shut out a team like Notre Dame… look at how many goals they’ve been scoring. So, to walk out of here with a 2-0 victory and a clean sheet, that’s pretty impressive.”
Thursday night’s win was Clemson’s fifth victory of the season and perhaps its most important one.
The Tigers are likely to climb even further in the top 25 polls, and the team looks to build on the momentum from this upset.  
The victory also places Clemson atop the ACC as teams kick off their conference schedules.
Clemson’s next match will come on Thursday, Sept. 22, as they visit Winston-Salem to face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. 

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