Men's Soccer (3-1-1)
In the name of full disclosure I'll admit I wasn't able to catch much of either game this week but I was able to watch enough to get a decent feel for what happened.
Last Monday the men's team faced their toughest test of the season when #11 Coastal Carolina came into town. The Chanticleers presented an interesting challenge to Clemson because of their size. They were bigger than any team the Tigers had played yet and were bigger across than board than Clemson.
Coastal Carolina, like many teams in the States, plays a very physical and direct style of play. They defend very well and when they have the ball, don't maintain possession for long periods of time like Clemson does. Rather than working the ball around the box and linking up the backline, the midfield, etc., they usually play straight through the center of the field Clemson is very good at drawing fouls and was able to use Coastal's physicality and aggressiveness against them.
The Tigers got the first goal of the match, with Austin Burnikel scoring in the 27th minute. I'm a big fan of Burnikel and his style of play. He's a workhorse as the lone striker, able to win most arial battles, and is good with the ball at his feet. I would compare him somewhat to Didier Drogba in their styles of play.
Coastal Carolina was unfortunately able to tie the game up in the 73rd minute. While the Tigers went for the win in both overtime periods and had a couple of decent shots, they were not able to pull out the win. I'm a little bit disappointed that Clemson wasn't able to win, but Coastal is a difficult opponent so it is understandable.
On Saturday, Clemson found itself ranked as high as #5 nationally as they took on the #2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Irish won the national title two seasons and are obviously one of the nation's premier programs.
This game was a tight run affair throughout, with most chances few and far between. Clemson possessed the ball well but wasn't able to get off many shots. I think that speaks more to Notre Dame's defensive prowess more than any potential struggles Clemson might have offensively as the Irish have yet to concede a single goal this season.
The Irish scored the lone goal of the game in the 51st minute. The goal was scored by one of their center backs who came up for a corner kick.
Clemson has the some time off before they travel up 123 to play at Furman on Friday night.
Womens Soccer (6-0-1)
The Lady Tigers took some inspiration from the football and put a whippin' on Wofford last Monday night up in Spartanburg. After eking out a narrow 1-0 against Wofford last year, Clemson showed their improvement and flexed some scoring muscle by winning 5-1.
On Friday, Clemson returned home to take on undefeated Penn. Last year's leading goal scorer, Catrina Atanda, bagged two more goals as the Tigers won 2-1. Atanda already has 3 goals in the young season and is a big part of Clemson's success this season and the last.
Sunday night, the undefeated South Florida Bulls came to town to take on the #8 Tigers. Even though Clemson had numerous chances, including a couple from Atanda, the game ended in a 0-0 draw. Despite the less than positive result. Coach Radwanski was pleased with the game. Clemson dominated the flow of the game and looked the better team despite the scoreless result. Sometimes you just aren't able to convert your chances.
Clemson has the week off before taking on Notre Dame at home on Saturday,