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Clemson Soccer: The Finale

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Both soccer teams had big weekends and now have just one game left in the regular season. How did they do? What does the ACC picture look like? Find out inside.

Men's Soccer (13-1-2)

Clemson had a ho-hum 3-1 victory over Georgia Southern this past Tuesday night, with all of the goals coming in the second half. Austin Burnikel scored two and TJ Casner got the other. Both of Burnikel and Casner are playing exceptionally well; the Tigers have a plethora of attacking options that are all in a run of good play at just the right time. The Tigers were a bit hungover from the victory of Syracuse last Saturday and that showed in the lack of urgency during the first half. However, a decent number of younger reserve players were able to see some good game action.

Friday night was senior night for the Clemson Tigers against Boston College. Kyle Fisher, Kyle Murphy, TJ Casner, and Paul Clowes were all honored before the game. On the field, Clemson won 1-0 behind an early goal from Thales Moreno, who continues to play well as a midfield utility player. While the Tigers were more into this game than the one against Georgia Southern, the Tigers still did not play up to their potential. I'm attributing that to the end of the season grind and three games (one in Upstate New York) in less than a week rather than a dip in form.

As far as ACC standings go, Clemson is sitting in 3rd overall with 16 points. Wake Forest is 2nd with 17 points and UNC is 1st with 18 points. Wake Forest managed to pull out a close, comeback 2-1 victory over Notre Dame at home on Friday night. If Notre Dame had won then Clemson would have moved into second. The Tigers have an outside shot at the regular season conference title but they will need help from other teams. First, the Tigers need to take care of business on Friday night in Raleigh. Next, Clemson needs Louisville to not lose at home to Wake Forest and for Virginia to beat North Carolina at home. If Virginia and UNC tie then Clemson and UNC will be level on points with identical conference and non-conference records. The good news is that the Tigers have locked up a top 4 ACC spot, which means Clemson will have a bye in the 1st round of the ACC Tournament.

Women's Soccer (12-3-1)

Clemson started off their North Carolina road trip with an easy 4-1 victory over lowly NC State on Thursday. Unfortunately, the Tigers dropped one of their most important games of the season, a 1-0 loss to UNC on Sunday. The loss drops Clemson into 5th in the ACC standings, one spot out of the ACC Tournament. Even though the loss is disappointing, there were some encouraging signs. UNC is a top 10 team at worst and their program is arguably the best in the nation. Their women's soccer program is actually the most successful sports program in the university's history.

To make the ACC tournament Clemson will need some other teams to help out. First, the Tigers have to take care of Syracuse on the road this Saturday. Cuse is near the bottom of the conference so the Tigers should be able to take care of business. Secondly, Clemson will have to rely on Notre Dame winning at home against Virginia Tech. The Hokies are currently ahead of Clemson by only 1 point in the conference standings. Clemson could conceivably jump Florida State if the Seminoles lose at home to Boston College but I don't see that happening. I also don't see the Tar Heels dropping a game to lowly Miami. Having to rely on other teams is frustrating, especially since Clemson was in a position to basically guarantee a top 4 finish with a win or draw against UNC.

Despite the strong chances of missing out on the ACC tournament again, the Tigers have positioned themselves well for an NCAA Tournament run.