The men's soccer team had a resounding 3-0 win over Boston College in the ACC quarterfinals on Sunday. Clemson dominated the game from start to finish and clearly showed that they are one of the best teams in the country. Austin Burnikel scored the only goal of the first half, a header of an Iman Mafi cross. Mafi has been a great player at fullback at Clemson. He has been able to provide crosses into dangerous conditions and in fact leads the team with 5 assists. Clemson should have been up by more than a single goal at halftime; there were a couple of chances that Clemson would love to have back, including an Alex Happi shot from less than 8 yards out that he skied over the tennis facility.
The second goal of the game was actually a Boston College own goal that Austin Burnikel almost got a sliding foot to. The third goal came in the 68th minute from Kyle Murphy. John Cajka, normally a resrve player who was getting in some good minutes this game, was able to slip Murphy behind the defense with a well played through ball. Murphy had a one vs one chance with the keeper and cooly slotted his shot into the corner of the net.
Andrew Tarbell was called into action a few times and made some amazing saves on some wellt struck shots.
Clemson has been forced to shuffle around the lineup a bit due to injuries. Senior captain Kyle Fisher, one of Clemson's most important players, has missed the past few games with an injury. The normal rightback starter, Aaron Jones, has missed a few games too. Alex Happi, normally a holding midfielder, has gotten the start in Fisher's place and has performed well. In Jones's place, both Michael Melvin and Saul Chinchilla have seen time at rightback. An interesting move that Coach Noonan has made is moving Campos out of the starting lineup in favor of Grayson Raynor. Coach Noonan made a similar move when he decided to bring Manolo Sanchez off the bench. I think of it as a 6th man deal in basketball, similar to how the Spurs would bring in Manu Ginobili or the Warriors would bring in Andre Iguadola. I've been impressed with what I've seen from Raynor. He isn't going to wow anybody with skill moves like Chinchilla and Campos, but he takes care of the ball and is a sound player.
Syracuse upset North Carolina in penalty kicks on Sunday so instead of traveling to Chapel Hill to face a tough Tar Heels squad, the Tigers get to play at home against 'Cuse, a team they beat 1-0 a few weeks ago. 'Cuse will be a solid opponent. They will more than likely sit back, hold their defensive shape, and try to score on a counter. The game is Wednesday night at Riggs Field.
Hey so how was that game against Virginia, the best team in the country?
Clemson got rocked by Virginia and lost 5-0. I thought Clemson had a decent shot at perhaps winning the game but the Tigers were under pressure the entire night and cracked in the second half, allowing all five Virginia goals after halftime. There is not too much to say about this game. Hopefully the players can get their mental state fixed and focused as they wait to hear who they will play in the NCAA Tournament.