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The Tiger

Clemson men’s soccer looking to fight next fall following spring performances

Aralynn Minnick // Asst. Photo Editor

Clemson midfielder Brandon Parrish (11) dribbles past a Virginia defender on Oct. 15, 2022 at Historic Riggs Field. 

With four out of five spring scrimmages completed, the Clemson men’s soccer team is looking to use their performances to spend another season at the top of the NCAA.
The 2021 National Champions opened their spring season against Duke, splitting a 1-1 draw at Historic Riggs Field on Feb. 26. Six days later, they were victorious against Charlotte II, the reserve team of MLS team Charlotte FC, winning 3-1 at home.
Clemson then traveled to College Park, Maryland, where they suffered their only loss of the spring season so far, falling 2-1 to the Terrapins on March 12.
After the loss, the team had a few weeks before another game at Historic Riggs Field, where they defeated Virginia Tech in a 4-3 thriller earlier this month.
With a new season looming in August, it means a new-look lineup for head coach Mike Noonan, who has plenty of options to make another run in the ACC and the NCAA College Cup.
The Tigers lost defenders Hamady Diop and Joey Skinner as well as forward and captain Isaiah Reid to the MLS Draft in December as they now pursue their professional careers.
Despite Reid’s departure, Clemson’s offense will return key players who proved problematic for their opponents last season. Midfielder Ousmane Sylla will head the offense, as the junior led the team in both goals and assists last season with five and seven, respectively. Sylla was also the only Tiger to make the first All-ACC team in 2022.
Mohamed Seye will also return for his fifth year, using his 6-foot-3 frame in the striker position to create problems for defenders in the fall. The duo of forwards Tyler Trimnal and Isaiah Easley is joining him, who played vital minutes and made significant contributions during the latter half of their freshmen seasons.
In the midfield, the Tigers lost seniors Alvaro Gomez and Derek Waleffe but have plenty of talent to fill their roles.
Sophomore Elton Chifamba and junior Brandon Parrish now make up the heart of Clemson’s midfield. Chifamba started 19 games last season and has the experience to control the midfield in his junior season, while Parrish was known for his key plays last postseason with goals against Duke and Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament.
With one year of experience under his belt now, midfielder Nathan Richmond is another rising player to watch. Richmond gradually gained minutes off the bench through quality contributions in his freshman year and could make the starting 11 for Mike Noonan this fall.
With the absence of Diop and Skinner, the Tigers’ defense will face the most change since last season.
Luckily, Adam Lundegard will return with experience for his third season with the Tigers, along with key players in the back, such as defenders Titus Sandy Jr. and Shawn Smart.
The three are looking to protect keeper Joseph Andema, who will return for his sophomore season. Andema burst onto the scene in the middle of last season and recorded eight shutouts to make the All-ACC freshman team.
The team has one more game this spring on Sunday, April 16, when they will travel to Wake Forest before beginning preparations for another promising season in August.

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Griffin Barfield, Asst. Sports Editor
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