Well this is certainly a disappointing start to the 2014 for the Men's Soccer team. The Tigers went 0-3 this week, opening with a very disappointing 2-1 loss double overtime loss to South Carolina. Clemson statically dominated the game, having the run of possession and piling up shots. Despite some decent chances the only goal came via a second half penalty kick. Fullback Amadou Dia was pulled down in the box and Amirkhanian converted it for the goal.
This game should have been wrapped up when South Carolina went down to 10 men via a red card. When your opponent is down a man you break them. Clemson didn't. They didn't put the game away. Yes the referee was particularly awful and Amirkhanian's red card was bogus but the referee should not have been able to influence the game like that. By that I mean that Clemson should have killed this game off with the ample opportunities they had.
South Carolina was awarded a penalty kick at the very end of the game for a handball in the box. That sequence of play started with a stupid foul on the edge of the box. In the second overtime period a South Carolina player got behind the defense and slotted it past Glodack.
Clemson was the better team and should have cruised to a multiple goal win.
Out West over the weekend the Tigers did not fare much better. On Friday they opened with a 2-1 loss to San Diego State. The Aztecs scored goals 4 minutes into the game and with 4 minutes left in the game. This shows that the players are not focusing for the whole 90 minutes and trying to ease their way into the game rather than starting off on the front foot. Kyle Fisher scored his first goal of the year, this one via a TJ Castner free kick. The Tigers have looked dangerous on set pieces and hopefully they can convert a few more into goals. San Diego State is a better team than South Carolina so we did not enjoy the same possession and shot dominance that we did in Columbia.
On Sunday, Clemson faced off against the #17 UC-Irvine Anteaters. Despite Chris Glodack's best efforts (9 saves) the Tigers once again lost 1-2. TJ Castner scored the lone goal for the Tigers. He appears to be the best attacking option for Clemson, assisting or scoring on both goals this past weekend. Castner is primarily playing in a central attacking role behind the lone striker. Both he and Glodack were named to the All-Tournament team this weekend.
A good week for Clemson would have had two wins, over South Carolina and San Diego State. The loss to South Carolina is the most disappointing but losses to SDSU and UC-Irvine are at least understandable. Clemson's next two games are on the road in New England this weekend against Boston College and Providence. Clemson still has a few opportunities to sort out problems in front of goal before they get into the depth of the conference schedule. The Tigers have fallen to 1-3 on the season and will more than likely be unranked.
The Lady Tigers picked up a huge road win against #9 South Carolina Friday night in Columbia. This is a huge win for the women's soccer program and their second consecutive win in Columbia. Freshman Shannon Horgan scored the lone goal and Kailen Sheridan kept a clean sheet with 5 saves. The game was played in front of a record crowd at Stone Stadium.
Unfortunately, the win was followed up by a home tie to Charlotte on Sunday. Clemson battled back from a one goal deficit to tie the game late via sophomore Catrina Atanda. The game went to overtime but remained scoreless. Clemson should have won this game, dominating the stat line with 35(!) shots to 5 for Charlotte. The Tigers move to 5-0-1 on the season.
The volleyball team went up to Rock Hill this weekend to take on South Carolina, Winthrop, and Furman. The Tigers took down the Gamecocks 3 sets to 1, Winthrop 3 sets to 1, and lost to Furman 2 sets to 3. So far Clemson is 5-1 on the season and should win at least two of their matches this weekend.