The Clemson Women’s Soccer Team is on a heater. They closed out the ACC regular season on a 2 game winning streak, and then took care of Boston College on the road in the first round of the ACC Tournament to set up a semifinal date with number 1 seed, 3rd ranked (nationally) UNC tonight at 5:30 in Carey, North Carolina.
UNC comes into the game on an 11 game winning streak after going undefeated in the ACC regular season. I’m not going to sugar coat it, the Tar Heels are exceptional this year. They rely on an impenetrable defense and a balanced scoring attack to overwhelm opponents. They’ve been untouchable since dropping 2 two early games to Santa Clara and Stanford on a West Coast road trip, giving up only 3 goals (and no multi goal games) in the last 11 matches. They’ve pretty much been untouchable.
The Tigers relies on their outstanding striking duo Mariana Speckmaier and Miranda Weslake to provide the goals, while Sandy MacIver minds the net behind a solid Clemson defense. Clemson is just the type of team that can threaten North Carolina because they also play outstanding defense and have two players up top capable of creating a goal out of thin air. They also utilize the long throw, and can create chaos in the box. All it takes is one bad bounce for the Tigers to score. UNC wouldn’t admit it, but I’m certain they were hoping to see B.C. instead of Clemson in Carey tonight.
You can look back to the first game between the two squads to see just how well Clemson matches up. North Carolina only managed to score a single goal on a Clemson defensive mistake. Clemson threatened the back line of UNC, with Speckmaier hitting the post in the second half. Unfortunately, the Tigers couldn’t slot home the elusive tying goal, and UNC left Clemson with a hard earned 1-0 victory.
One major hurdle for the ladies will be the “neutral” field (aka Wakemed Soccer Park, AKA UNC’s home field) the ACC provided for the tournament. Since we’re considering Wakemed Soccer Park a “neutral site”, I’m working on a campaign to get the ACC Football Championship game moved to the “neutral site” of Clemson, South Carolina. Playing the tournament at UNC’s home field is dumb, but very on brand for the ACC.
If the Tigers can pull this off, it would be considered a monumental upset, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. A win against UNC would also set Clemson up nicely for the NCAA Tournament.
Clemson vs UNC
Wakemed Soccer Park - 5:30 EST
Streaming: ACCN Extra (click for link)