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Clemson Soccer: Down the Home Stretch

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The soccer teams are positioning themselves for a final push at the end of the season; how is the conference race looking for each team?

Men's Soccer (11-1-2)

Clemson went on the road over the weekend to take on the #16 Syracuse Orange. This game was vital for the Tigers' chances to finish in the top 4 of the ACC and secure a first round bye in the ACC Tournament. Clemson was able to pull out a dramatic 1-0 win, with Kyle Murphy scoring the game-winning goal in the 90th minute. Murphy, a New York native, stole the ball from a Syracuse defender at midfield and raced down to field to beat the keeper in a one vs. one situation. The redshirt senior now has 5 goals on the season, which moves him into a tie with Oliver Shannon for second leading scorer.

The Tigers have two home games this week, Georgia Southern and Boston College, before finishing the season on the road against NC State. Boston College is right behind Clemson in the division but the Tigers have a 4 point lead, which is a large one this late in the season.

Clemson is sitting at second in the division and third in the conference after Wake Forest defeated North Carolina this past weekend. The Tar Heels are in first in the conference, a mere 1 point ahead of the Demon Deacons, who themselves are only 1 point ahead of the Tigers. UNC and Wake Forest both have Louisville remaining on their schedule, as well as Virginia and Notre Dame respectively. There is a chance that with the right results in the remaining games, Clemson could sneak into first in the ACC standings.

Barring a slip up, Clemson has a top four ACC finish nearly wrapped up for the second consecutive season. The Tigers take the field against this Tuesday against Georgia Southern.

Women's Soccer (11-2-1)

Clemson had one of its most important wins of the season on Friday night, beating Pitt 2-0. Clemson and Pitt were tied in the ACC standings heading into the game, but more on that in a minute. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead, scoring 2 goals in the first thirty minutes. This is a great change over the past couple of games; Clemson had shown a concerning habit of letting in early goals in both the first and the second half. The players were clearly focused heading into such a pivotal games.

In the ACC standings, Clemson is currently tied for 3rd with Virginia Tech, who Clemson beat 3-2 earlier in the month. Both teams have a 5-2 conference record. North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Pitt each have 4-3 conference records. Out of this group of five teams Clemson appears to have the easiest remaining schedule. The Tigers play at NC State, at UNC, and at Syracuse to close out the season. Syracuse and NC State are the two teams at the bottom of the ACC standings. The North Carolina game will be a challenge, but the Tar Heels also have to play Notre Dame in their end of season stretch. Notre Dame and Virginia Tech go head to head in the final game of the season. Virginia Tech has the misfortune of having to play Florida State this week. The Hokies also play Pitt in the home stretch.

In short, Clemson has the easiest schedule out of the five teams that are clustered together around the vital third and fourth positions in the ACC standings. I think the Tigers have a great shot at wrapping up an ACC Tournament spot over the next two weeks.

Overall, both programs are in excellent positions and sitting in the top 5/6. Coach Noonan and Coach Radwanski have both done an exceptional job this season and are setting the programs up for future success as well.