Clemson 4 - U of SC (AKA SCAR, AKA the bad USC, AKA the bad Carolina) 1
This one was a laugher from the opening whistle. Clemson came out strong, controlled the game and didn’t look back. Grayson Barber, looking to rebound after a disappointing 2018 campaign, rang the bell twice in the first half.
He opened his account just 6 minutes into the game after freshman midfielder Phillip Mayaka gutted the U of SC defense with a through ball from midfield that put Barber in on goal all alone, which he easily dispatched into the back of the net.
The Gamecocks caught a break on a fluky long ball goal off the of their goalkeeper in the 11th minute, but that was all the scoring the flaccid Gamecock attack could muster.
Kimarni Smith quickly righted the ship in the 12th minute, putting the Tigers up for good on a shot from the top of the box. Barber would add another goal in the 20th minute and Quinn McNeil finished off the route with a goal in the 77th minute.
4-1 is a blowout in soccer (let’s just call it 28-7) but it doesn’t do justice to the level that Clemson dominated the bad Carolina. The Tigers ripped off 24 total shots, while their docile counterparts could only muster 2 shots all game, and as I mentioned above, the only one that actually found the target was a fluke long ball from the keeper.
Clemson plays Detroit Mercy at home tonight a 5 pm, if any locals are looking for something to do this evening other than watch Notre Dame slaughter Louisville.
Huskers of Corn - 0 - Clemson 2
The Clemson defense is a brick wall, and that’s even with one of the best goalkeepers in the nation out of the country with the English National Team. The women’s team took their show on the road to Nebraska this weekend and came back with 2 victories.
Against the Corn Huskers, Clemson used two goals from true freshmen to vanquish Nebraska on their home cornfield. After a scoreless first half, freshman defender Harper White snuck a beautiful chip over the Nebraska goal keeper to open the scoring in the 65th minute. Fellow freshman Caroline Conti put the game out of reach in the 85th minute when she put the ear of corn in the silo to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
In keeping with the theme, freshman goal keeper Hannah McLaughlin recorded a shut out, remaining poised under a steady pressure from the Nebraska attack. She recorded 8 saves and was rock solid despite starting in her first truly competitive game (she also started against Coastal but didn’t record a save or even get a good look at the ball).
Creighton Bluejays 0 - Clemson Tigers 1
This was another hard fought and well deserved victory for the Tigers. After a two goal barrage from freshmen against Nebraska, junior forward Mariana Speckmaier provided Clemson with the only goal of the match in the 51st minute when she got on the end of a Mackenzi Smith pass in the box and slid a left footed shot past the anguished bluebird keeper.
Fans who watched the Tigers last year (such as myself) are nervous about this result as old habits seemed to creep into the squad. Clemson dominated play, out shooting the Bluejays 17-8, but failed to turn domination into goals. This was the theme of the 2018 season, and needs to be nipped in the bud if Clemson wants to fulfill their potential in 2019. We need touchdowns not turnovers in the redzone ladies.
Hannah McLaughlin was once again steady under pressure, recording her 3rd shut out in 3 games in the absence of Sandy McIver. There is no doubt about the Clemson defense this season, the only limiting factor for this team is the ability to finish. Hopefully that gets ironed out along the way.
Smith ➡️ Speckmaier ➡️ pic.twitter.com/Z45KU8Z9nP— Clemson Women's Soccer (@clemsonwsoccer) September 1, 2019
Clemson starts a 6 game home stand on Friday at 5 PM against the Ducks from Oregon and then face the Georgia Bulldogs at 6 PM on Sunday. If you’re in town for the A&M game (like I will be) stop by and check out the action at Historic Riggs Field.