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Clemson Dominates in Men's, Women's Soccer

Both Men's and Women's soccer programs got back on track this past week with some impressive performances.

Men's Soccer (6-1-1)

The Tigers rebounded from a disappointing week with three straight victories, including a 2-1 victory over #16 Duke. The win over the Blue Devils was book-ended by a 3-0 win over Furman and a 3-1 over Brown, Coach Noonan's old program.

The most encouraging development out of this past week has been the re-emergence of TJ Casner, with a goal in each of the three games including the winner against Duke. I was expecting a big season from Casner in his attacking midfield role, so his relatively slow start was a bit concerning. I've really liked his ability to set up other players in the midfield and pull strings from an advanced position.

Speaking of playing well, even though he only has one goal on this season, Diego Campos has been dynamite for the Tigers on the wing. I was a little skeptical at first of his wide position this season, but it has proved to be a very good move. He is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and usually seeks to cut inside to get a shot off.

Overall offensively, I think Clemson is showing improvement; I've really liked what I've seen the past couple of games. The Tigers won't face many teams that can counter their dominance in possession. The combination play between the midfielders has been superb. Guys like Oliver Shannon, Austin Burnikel, and TJ Casner have been a very good job of linking up at the top of the box, finding the small gaps in the defense, getting shots off, or playing it out wide to an overlapping fullback.

Defensively, the back line has been stout but gave up the goal against Duke by falling asleep at the wheel. In some of the smaller time games, such as Brown, Coach Noonan has gone away from his regular centerback pairing of Fisher and Bunk-Anderson to play Mauriq Hill with Fisher. Hill is a different type of player, mainly due to his size; Fisher and Bunk-Anderson are ~3 inches taller than Hill. However, Hill is still a physical player and can hold his own. When Hill comes in, Bunk-Anderson has sometimes played in the holding midfield role.

Clemson's bounce back from a tough week was impressive, especially the victory over Duke. The Tigers get the whole week off before hitting the road to take on highly ranked Wake Forest on Saturday.

Women's Soccer (7-0-1)

So last season I wasn't sure really sure about how good the Tigers really were; they had a good record and were ranked in the Top 25 but I felt that was a bit inflated because of some weaker competition. That isn't to say they weren't a good team, but I still felt like they were another year or two away.

Well Clemson has now shown that they are here to compete for the ACC. With Claire Wagner's goal in double OT, the Tigers secured a a 1-0 win over #5 Notre Dame. This is one of the biggest wins in Coach Radwanski's tenure so far and will go a long way in building the program. The goal was a combination of a cross and a shot but the traffic in front of the goal distracted the goalie enough to let the ball in. Wagner cut in from the left wing and sent a low cross towards the back post. The ball took one bounce in front of the goalie and curled into the goal at back post.

The Tigers have their biggest test of the season coming up with a Thursday trip down to Tallahassee to take on #1 and defending national champion Florida State. On Sunday they'll play Miami in Coral Gables.