The ACC regular season and tournament is over for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams. It was a season of near misses for the women and a season of offensive futility for the men.
Overall Record: 12-8
ACC Record: 6-4
ACC Tournament Outcome: Semifinal Loss to UNC
Post Season: Yes
The Women’s team wrapped up the ACC tournament in the same frustrating way many of their regular season games ended. The Tigers were within a few inches of pulling of a major upset of #3 ranked UNC (a feat FSU actually pulled off in the finals) but just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net when it mattered most, and fell in the semi-final 0-1, to the home-standing Tarheels.
This was a season of almost pulling off big upsets for the Tigers. The women came oh, so close to knocking off the following teams (I’m using their current rankings)
#6 UNC 1 - Clemson 0 - x2
#10 Duke 3 - Clemson 2
#15 West Virginia 2 - Clemson 1
#19 South Carolina 1 - Clemson 0
#25 Boston College 2 - Clemson 1
That’s 6 one goal losses to ranked teams this season. If Clemson can find a way to win (or even tie) half of those, the season would have gone from pretty good to amazing. That said, the women did pull off two major upsets along the way:
#4 FSU 0 - Clemson 1
#7 UVA 0 - Clemson 1
Overall, this was a successful campaign for the women’s team, but it was tantalizingly close to being an amazing season. The women will now await word from the NCAA on their tournament fate at 4:30 today. The Tigers are definitely in the field, and will be a nightmare draw for any top ranked team. This team is strong in the back, and has enough attacking ability to poach a goal or two against most defenses.
Overall Record: 7-9-1
ACC Record: 2-6
ACC Tournament Outcome: First Round Loss to #18 Notre Dame
Post Season: No
Clemson came into this season needing to answer questions about their attack, and those questions were answered with a resounding, meh. Whenever the Tigers stepped up in competition, their ability to score goals failed to follow.
In fairness to the Tigers, Robbie Robinson, who was projected to be one of the primary answers for the Tigers was injured for most of the season, and was unable to follow up his outstanding Freshman year with an outstanding Sophomore year. Lightly regarded junior college transfer Adrian Nunez ended up being the one bright spot in the Tiger attack, leading Clemson with 6 goals, with Tanner Dieterich coming in a distant second with 4 goals (3 of which were PKs).
When the chips were down, the Tigers couldn’t find the back of the net, and that is pretty much the season summary.
On a more positive note, Clemson should be in good shape for next season, barring any unforeseen defections, the Tigers only lose 3 seniors from this years squad. I expect a much improved attack next season after the loaded ‘17 recruiting class struggled to make an impact as true freshman this season. College soccer is an altogether different animal in terms of physical play, and it’s not unusual for the initial transition to be a little rough.