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Clemson Soccer Review - Week 3

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The Clemson Men’s and Women’s soccer teams remain undefeated after big weeks by both squads.

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

Women’s Soccer

Oregon 1 - Clemson 1

110 minutes of action couldn’t separate the Tigers and Ducks, with this one sided match ending in an unsatisfying 1-1 draw.

I’ve typed this a few many too times regarding the women’s team over the last two seasons, but it’s unavoidable, Clemson dominated this game but couldn’t put the ball into the back of the net. The Tigers out shot the Ducks 25-5 but their quality in the final 3rd of the field was uninspiring.

Mariana Speckmaier once against bailed Clemson out by figuring out a way to deflect the ball past the Duck keeper on a long set piece by Harper White in the 73rd minute. Going into the season, there were questions about Speckmaier’s place in the squad, but despite lacking the flash of other attacking options, she brings goal scoring substance. Being fast and taking players off the dribble is exciting, but actually putting the ball in the back of the net is what separates exciting players from excellent players.

The rest of the Clemson attack needs to get it together if the Tigers are going to capitalize on their stellar defense, because every now and then, a ball is going to manage to trickle into the net. Sandy MacIver returned from English National Team duty to a relatively uneventful game, unfortunately, Oregon’s only shot on goal managed to find the back of the net.

That’s how soccer works sometimes. The object is to score goals, not take a bunch of shots that don’t hit the target. This team has the potential to do big things, but I’m once again worried about our attack.

Georgia 1 - Clemson 2

Another game, another dominating performance by the Tigers in every aspect of the game except the scoreboard.

Mariana Speckmaier started on the bench for the Tigers but came in and immediately made her presence felt, chipping the Bulldog keeper for a sublime goal in the 23rd minute.

Mariana proved to be the only player in the Tiger attack capable of finding the back of the net. This has been a troubling trend. Clemson plays 3 attacking players, and outside of Maliah Morris and Julie Mackin scoring against a woeful Coastal Carolina team, Speckmaier is the only attacking player to find the net.

Luckily for the Tigers, Dani Antieau was able to come up from her center back position and sentence a header into the net off a Renee Guion corner in the 47th minute to give the Tigers the cushion they needed to survive a late Georgia goal.

Clemson, once again, significantly out shot their opponent, offering up 15 shots to the Bulldogs 9 and dominating in corner kickes 8-2, but just couldn’t find the quality to finish more than 2 of their 15 opportunities. This was a solid win over Georgia, but the Mackin, Jones, Morris attacking trio has to do something to support Speckmaier’s opportunistic goal scoring once the brutal ACC schedule starts.

Next Game

September 15th (Sunday) - Historic Riggs Field - 6PM - ACCN

#11 U of SC vs Clemson

If you’re in town, and are in the mood for some top notch, and yet inexpensive, entertainment, you need to check this game out. Both teams are undefeated and have post season aspirations. Let’s fill Riggs with Orange and make things uncomfortable for the 11th ranked Gamecocks.

*Note - the link takes you to GetACCN - which I assume will eventually take you to the game if have ACCN.

Men’s Soccer

UNC Greensboro 1 - #12 Clemson 2

This one was a little too close for comfort, as the Men’s team pulled off their best impersonation of the women’s team and dominated the game everywhere but the scoreboard.

Grayson Barber showed up early for the Tigers, slotting home a goal off a Kimarni Smith assist in the 8th minute. It looked like Clemson it was going to coast to another victory when UNC Greensboro managed to equalize in 33rd minute off a cross. The Tigers responded rapidly in the 39th minute with a laser beam strike by freshman sensation Phillip Mayaka that scorched the back of the net.

The second half saw Clemson hold on for dear life as Greensboro out shot them 5-4 and dominated corner kicks 5-1. I would love to see the Tigers find a killer instinct and finish off teams like Greensboro instead of dodging bullets late, but every win is beautiful for a team coming off a maddeningly bad season.

USC Upstate 0 - #12 Clemson 7

The Tigers came out to finish this one early on a steamy Riggs Field and did just that, finding the net 5 times in the first half against undermanned USC Upstate.

Robbie Robinson had a hat trick by halftime, after an offensive explosion that saw him score in the 21st, 23rd and 38th minute. In the middle of Robinson annihilating Upstate, Felipe Fernandez managed to open his scoring account for the season on a set piece in the 35th minute.

Not to be outdone by Robinson, Kimarni Smith found his goal scoring boots at the end of the 1st half, slotting the ball into the net in the 40th minute and then completing his hat trick in the 2nd half with goals in the 51st and 64th minute. The Tigers need both Smith and Robinson to contribute on the scoreboard this year, and seeing them both go off against a admittedly poor opponent will hopefully build up their confidence for more competitive matches.

Next Match

September 13th (Friday) - Away - 7pm - ACCN

#12 Clemson vs #15 Notre Dame

Clemson opens their ACC slate on the road against an undefeated (3-0) Notre Dame squad Friday night. The undefeated, 12th ranked Tigers face the undefeated 15th ranked Fighting Irish in what is sure to be an exciting contest.

If you’re one of the people that have been clamoring for the ACCN, here is the perfect opportunity to utilize it to watch a high level college soccer game.