The Tigers continued their hot streak this past week with a 2-1 OT win against #21 Coastal Carolina. Clemson struck first, with an Alex Happi goal in the 3rd minute. Coastal equalized a few minutes later by converting a PK. I'm not a fan of Clemson's tendency to give up PKs. However, Clemson was able to overcome this mistake with an Oliver Shannon goal a few minutes into overtime. I've song Shannon's praises for a few weeks now and I'm excited about his future development. Amirkhanian assisted on his goal from inside the box. Amirkhanian continues to prove deadly from his fullback spot.
Clemson went on the road Friday to take on the #11 Louisville Cardinals in a vital conference game. Goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell played absolutely out of his mind, coming up with 7 saves, many of which were impressive and from close range. The sides were very evenly matched but Louisville outshot the Tigers throughout the game. An interesting note was the appearance of Michael Melvin in the second half. The freshman had played some at fullback very early on in the year but didn't see much time until he was placed at attacking mid in this game. He brought energy to the Tigers late in the game and created some good offensive opportunities.
The game ended in a 0-0 2OT tie but the ending was a bit controversial. Clemson was awarded a free kick at the edge of the box with about 10 seconds left. Alex Happi took the kick and Kyle Fisher headed it into the goal but it was disallowed because the ref ruled that Manolo Sanchez had fouled the Louisville keeper. I didn't get a great look at the foul because I was watching it on the internet but from the replay it looked like Sanchez did run into the keeper. However, I don't know if it was enough to warrant a foul. Just like quarterbacks, keepers get the benefit of the doubt from the officials.
The Tigers are now ranked 19th and 4-2-1 in the ACC with a non-conference game against USF and a game against NC State left in the final week of the season. It may come down to tiebreakers for the 4th spot overall in the ACC.
The #17 ranked Tigers took on the #9 Fighting Irish this past Thursday in a conference road clash. Coming into the match the Irish were fourth in the conference and Clemson was fifth. Unfortunately, Clemson fell 1-0. The Tigers hadn't conceded since the beginning of the month, and that defense will serve them well in the ACC tournament. A loss to the Irish doesn't help with tournament seeding.
On Sunday Clemson down the Pitt Panthers 2-1, with goals in the 4th and 56th minutes. Clemson completely dominated this game and probably should have scored more. The Tigers claimed their 14th win of the season, their most since 2002. The women's team is on a roll and is playing well at the right time. Their last game of the season is this Saturday at Riggs against NC State.
The women's team is having an historic season. With their defense I think they could make some noise in the conference tournament and will more than likely get an NCAA tournament bid.