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Clemson Soccer: Now Things Get Difficult

The Clemson Men and Women Stare Into the Dark Soul of ACC Soccer.

Texas A&M v Clemson Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Hey y’all, sorry I missed last week, but buddy let me tell you, I would rather be writing a soccer article than dealing with the train wreck I’ve been trying to sort out.

Regardless of my newfound crazy life, the ACC soccer schedule marches on, and both the Men’s and Women’s team are well positioned to make a run for the ACC crown. The ACC gauntlet, however, awaits. It’s going to be an incredible grind, a battle of attrition if you will, and, just kidding, this isn’t some Paul Finebaum SEC garbage.

The ACC is tough, Clemson is good, no excuses, just win baby.

Women’s Soccer

Last Week

Clemson 0 - UNC 1

That ability to put the ball in the net is the only thing keeping Clemson out of the elite tier of women’s college soccer, and that gremlin showed up in Chapel Hill last Saturday. The Tigers lack a true goal scorer. Specmaier is as close as they have, and she his reliant on other players to get her the ball in a position to score. This team lacks someone that can go get a goal on their own, outside of the run of play. Maliah Morris and Courtney Jones, in theory, could fill that role, but that has yet to consistently materialize.

In this game, the defense was good tight, goal keeper Sandy MacIver was a rock, but the offense couldn’t get anything going. An individual piece of brilliance by North Carolina’s Andrzejewski put the Tar Heels in the lead on a diving header in the 55th minute, and Clemson couldn’t scratch out a goal to equalize.

There is no shame in losing to a top 5 ranked North Carolina, but at the same time, Clemson is capable of beating North Carolina. They just have to put the ball in the net. In football terms, consider Clemson like most versions of LSU (maybe not this year). They’ve got a dominating defense, but the offense, up until now, has been more about struggling, grinding and finding opportunistic goals rather than any coherent attack. Even when opportunities arise, the finishing has been poor.

If that changes, Clemson has legit Final 4 aspirations.

Next Game(s)

Thursday, October 10th @ Louisville - 5 PM

Sunday, October 13th @ Duke - 1 PM

Men’s Soccer

Last Week

Clemson 0 Virginia Tech 0

This was unusual for the Tigers. Unlike the women, goals haven’t been an issue this season. Barber and Smith both had prime opportunities to dent the scoreboard, but couldn’t get the job done.

Clemson out shot the Hokies 19-11 and dominated corner kicks 14-7 (this is generally a good indicator of which team is applying the most pressure) but failed to capitalize. It doesn’t look like Robbie Robinson is 100% healthy after only logging 20 minutes against Wake and missing the College of Charleston game. He managed 56 minutes against the Hokies, but wasn’t up to his normal high standards. An on form Robinson is the difference between Clemson being a very good squad and Clemson being a top 5 squad.

Let’s hope Robbie is back in top form this week.

Next Game

Friday, October 11th @ Historic Riggs Field vs Louisville - 7 PM