The Tigers continued their hot streak this past week with two big wins, 3-0 over South Florida and 2-0 over NC State. The team is on a roll right now at just the right time. Clemson is still as stout as it has been all season defensively and the goal scoring issues of earlier in the year have been fixed. One reason for the improvement in front of goal has been the emergence of Austin Burnikel. Burnikel scored both goals in the win over NC State. Three seniors, Phanuel Kavita, Manolo Sanchez, and Bobby Belair scored goals against #25 South Florida. A 3-0 win over anyone is good, but especially against a Top 25 team. The win over NC State was expected, since the Wolfpack are a young team that has struggled. They should be much improved within the next few years.
Along with the emergence of Austin Burnikel, other offensive regulars such as Paul Clowes and Ara Amirkhanian have continued to play well, recording assists against South Florida. Freshman Saul Chinchilla has seen his minutes increase over the past few weeks. I'm excited for his future development over the next couple of seasons.
Clemson finished the season with a 10-6-1 (5-2-1) record, a share of the Atlantic Division title, and top 15 ranking (14th). Coupled with a top 15 RPI (12th) I'm confident the team will receive an NCAA Tournament bid, regardless of ACC tournament results. Speaking of the ACC tournament, due to Wake Forest's win over Lousiville, Clemson secured the #4 seed and will host Wake Forest on Sunday. The winner will most likely face off against #1 seed Notre Dame. I'm confident in the Tigers' chances in the ACC tournament.
Clemson wrapped up a successful season with a dominant 2-0 win over NC State on Saturday night. The Tigers pounced on NC State early, with two goals in the first 10 minutes, and cruised to the win. Clemson finished the regular season 5th in the ACC with a 13-3-3 (6-3-1) record. For some reason the ACC women's tournament has only 4 teams in it (the men's has 10). I honestly have no idea why its set up like that. Since they finished 5th, the Tigers will have to wait until next Monday to find out if they made the NCAA Tournament.