After a 24 hour rain delay, the Clemson men's soccer team beat Costal Carolina 2-1 Monday night. The victory advances Clemson into the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament and sets up a showdown against North Carolina, or Chapel Hill Community College if you prefer, this Sunday, November 30 at Historic Riggs Field.
The Tigers started strong with both teams playing a physical game. Though the Tigers were dominating in front of a packed house, neither team had many chances with Clemson's best opportunity coming from Austin Burnikel halfway through the first half.
Clemson had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Coastal Carolina fouled a Clemson player in the box, but Phanuel Kavita had a lackluster penalty saved by the keeper to keep the score level. Thankfully the Tigers would not rue their missed chances as two minutes later Paul Clowes put the rebound from a Diego Campos free kick into the back of the net. Apparently he has something about scoring goals late in the half. The goal gave Clemson a 1-0 lead and really seemed to break Coastal Carolina.
The Tigers did not wait to add to their lead when Diego Campos got on the end of a pass from Alex Happi with 33 minutes left in the game. Unfortunately just 5 minutes later Coastal Carolina scored a beautiful free kick that was just past the reach of goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell.
From there it was just a matter of seeing the game out which Clemson did fairly comfortably. Now it is all about getting ready to host a North Carolina side that defeated Clemson 3-2 in the second period of Extra Time up at Chapel Hill. This time will be different.