Apologies for the absence last week. I had a couple of things come up with school and health that kept me from getting this out last Monday.
After a tough 3-2 Double OT loss to #9 UNC, Clemson fell at home on Tuesday the 7th against the #7 Charlotte 49ers 1-0. The only goal of the game came in the 8th minute from a Clemson own goal. Clemson actually applied most of the pressure throughout the game and played well defensively, so to not achieve a positive result, and to lose via an own goal, is a bit unlucky. The key is too get good shots on goal with the constant pressure, something that Clemson failed to do. The starting lineup for this game was Tarbell in goal, Amirkhanian, Fisher, Kavita, Dia across the back, Clowes and Mafi holding, Casner, Chinchilla, Moreno attacking, and Campos at forwards.
After back to back disappointing loses Clemson hit the road to take on the struggling Pitt Panthers. The starting lineup was identical except for the insertion of Glodack in goal and Burnikel at forward. Austin Burnikel made the most of his start, scoring his second goal of the season in the 23rd minute, on an assist from Kyle Fisher. I believe it was off of a corner that Fisher headed down to Burnikel. Clemson had shown itself to be pretty dangerous from set pieces (corners and free kicks.) Manolo Sanchez was able to knock home his first goal of the season in the 71st minute. Even though it took him a while to finally score, Sanchez has been an important attacking option for Clemson this season and has been the catalyst of a few goals. When you watch the team play its obvious that he is one of the most talented players on the field.
Clemson was scheduled to play Coastal Carolina on Tuesday the 14th but the game was rescheduled because of the bad weather moving through the area. The lack of a game on Tuesday probably helped us out in Friday's game with #6 Virginia. If you're keeping track at home that is three top 10 opponents in four games. The starters for this game were: Glodack in goal, the usual back line of Amirkhanian, Fisher, Kavita, Dia, holding mids of Clowes and Happi, attacking kids of Chinchilla, Moreno and Casner, and Burnikel at forward. Manolo Sanchez scored from the edge of the box off a rebound from a Happi shot in the 37th minute. Burnikel continued his strong play by scoring the Tigers' second goal in the 68th minute. He knocked in an Iman Mafi cross that was set up by Manolo Sanchez. Clemson was forced to hold for dear life in the last 20 minutes of the match. Virginia came back within one goal courtesy of Eric Bird, one of the ACC's best players. Virginia scored a second goal in the 87th minute but it was called back because of a foul on Glodack. Clemson held on for an important conference win.
Clemson is in third in the Atlantic Division with a 4-2 conference record. Louisville and Syracuse also have 4-2 conference records. 'Cuse is in first but Louisville was able to take them down in OT on Friday. In the Coastal, Notre Dame (4-1-1) and UNC (4-2) are in first and second. The Tigers have two conference games remaining: at Louisville on Friday and hosting NC State on Halloween. If Clemson wants to finish in the top 4 of the ACC and receive a first round bye in the conference tournament, it will need to win both games.
The Lady Tigers are on a roll right now, having gone 4-0-1 in the past 5 games. Clemson has only allowed 1 goal in those 5 games. The Tigers picked up wins against Duke (1-0), Syracuse (1-0), and Miami (2-0). Clemson's 11 wins this season are the most by the program since 2006. The win over Duke was very important, since they are right behind Clemson in the ACC standings. Clemson has a huge road game against Notre Dame on Thursday. The Irish are sitting in the 4th spot in the conference. The Irish are a good side, their only losses coming against the 2nd and 3rd teams in the conference, UNC and UVA respectively. This game will effectively decide who finishes 4th in the ACC. Clemson has lucked out a bit with its schedule. The Tigers have only played one of the top 3 teams in the conference, UNC, while getting to avoid FSU and UVA. That's one of the main reasons a top 10 team, Virginia Tech, is in 7th. Clemson has played or will play the worst 5 teams in the conference. With wins over Syracuse, Wake and Miami, Pitt and NC State round out the group of bottom feeders that Clemson will face.
The volleyball team has gone 3-1 over the past two weeks notching victories over VaTech (5 sets), Georgia Tech (4 sets) and Notre Dame (sweep). The lone loss was to Pitt (4 sets). Clemson has a large part of the conference schedule still left, including against the teams on both sides of us in the standings, UVA and BC. Clemson also has two games against undefeated FSU. The Tigers are sitting right in the middle of the conference standings at 8th. Some wins against the teams in 7th and 9th, as well as against the bad teams in the conference and maybe an upset or two, would allow Clemson to move up a few spots in the conference rankings before heading into the conference tournament