Clemson soccer team joins football in national title hunt

clemsoc-syracuseClemson’s football team isn’t the school’s only program in position for its first national championship since the 1980s.

For the first time in 28 years, and the third time in program history, the Clemson men’s soccer team will play in the championship match at the College Cup after advancing over Syracuse in penalty kicks in Friday’s semifinal. The Tigers and Orange played 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, in which redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell posted a season-best eight saves. Then, four-straight Tigers stepped up to the line and drilled their penalty kicks to send the team to play for a national title on Sunday.

“The game of soccer is cruel sometimes,” said Head Coach Mike Noonan. “We are very happy that we advanced, but you have to give a lot of credit to Syracuse. They played exceptionally well. They made it very difficult for us. Both teams know each other really well. I’ve got these two guys to my right (Casner and Tarbell) to thank for being in the College Cup finals. I’m really happy for Clemson; it’s been a long time. We’ve talked about three things through the course of the year. We talked about being ruthless, being relentless, and being resilient. We were certainly resilient today.”

Tarbell and the Clemson defense, led by senior defender and NSCAA First Team All-American Kyle Fisher, were the story of the first 110 minutes. Syracuse had a 15-5 advantage in shots and a 10-6 edge in corner kicks for the match, but the Tigers’ stingy defense kept the Orange off the scoreboard. In addition to the season-high eight saves, the solo shutout was the ninth of the year for Tarbell. The draw sent Clemson to penalty kicks for the second-straight game, as the Tigers’ tied Maryland and advanced 3-1 in PKs in the Elite Eight on Dec. 4 in Clemson, S.C. in order to reach the College Cup.

Junior Iman Mafi handled the first penalty kick, and made it. Mafi was three-for-three on PKs during the regular season, and also led off with a successful shot when the Tigers advanced over Maryland last week. Tarbell’s stellar night continued when he saved the first Syracuse PK, giving the Tigers a 1-0 edge through the first round. The keeper posted two saves on PKs for Clemson in the contest against the Terrapins.

Sophomore Michael Melvin took the second PK for the Tigers, which he made. The next Orange player made, and was followed by a make by junior Thales Moreno, who was the PK hero when Clemson advanced over Maryland a week ago. The third Syracuse shot attempt went high, which left the decision in the hands of T.J. Casner. Without pause, the senior drilled his shot into the lower left side of the net to send the Tigers to the title match.

This is the third trip to the national title match for the Clemson men’s soccer program. Both previous trips, 1984 and 1987, Clemson won the National Championship. Both titles were won under the direction of I.M. Ibrahim. Noonan mentioned the Tigers’ late head coach in his post-match press conference.

“I talked to Coach Ibrahim’s widow, Julie, when I first got to Clemson. I told her that we came to Clemson to honor her late husband’s legacy and to add to it. We hope to do that on Sunday.”

Clemson (17-2-4) faces the winner of Friday night’s semifinal match between Akron and Stanford in the College Cup Championship on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. ET at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. The match will be televised on ESPNU.

Photo courtesy of SU Athletics

Comments

comments

CCU's Ruiz makes cut, still in hunt for Masters invite

CCU's Ruiz makes cut, still in hunt for Masters inviteLuis Ruiz, a junior on the Coastal Carolina men’s golf [more]

CCU Hoops: Men, women take big road wins at Troy

CCU Hoops: Men, women take big road wins at TroyTrailing by 14 points at halftime, Coastal Carolina went on [more]

Saints light up Landsharks in Lowcountry Showcase

Saints light up Landsharks in Lowcountry ShowcaseThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team won [more]

Strand runners dominate NMB Winter Run 15K/5K

Strand runners dominate NMB Winter Run 15K/5KMore than 200 runners pounded the pavement through the streets [more]

Hoops: CF girls win in OT; MB claims sweep over MC

Hoops: CF girls win in OT; MB claims sweep over MCThe Carolina Forest girls basketball team battled its way to [more]

Coastal's Pierrot picked in second round of MLS draft

Coastal's Pierrot picked in second round of MLS draftAfter a career which saw him named the Sun Belt [more]

NMB boys, girls suffer first region setbacks at Wilson

NMB boys, girls suffer first region setbacks at WilsonThe North Myrtle Beach High boys and girls basketball teams [more]

CF girls blow out Knights; boys lose to WF at buzzer

CF girls blow out Knights; boys lose to WF at buzzerDespite the ice-cold weather outside, the Carolina Forest girls basketball [more]

CCU Hoops: Chants suffer sixth straight loss at USA

CCU Hoops: Chants suffer sixth straight loss at USAThe Coastal Carolina men's basketball team suffered their sixth consecutive [more]

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponed

Conway sweeps Socastee; NMB, SJ games postponedThe Conway High boys and girls basketball teams swept visiting [more]

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CF

Boys Hoops: Green breaks CA record; Braves beat CFChristian Academy of Myrtle Beach junior Michael Green reached another [more]

Lady Panthers' second-half surge knocks off Socastee

Lady Panthers' second-half surge knocks off SocasteeThe Carolina Forest High girls basketball team broke up a [more]

Coastal adds Michigan OL transfer to recruiting class

Coastal adds Michigan OL transfer to recruiting classCoastal Carolina head football coach Joe Moglia announced Sean Fitzgerald, [more]

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying Panthers

Earnhardt clears air about interest in buying PanthersRetired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he is interested [more]

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America Amateur

CCU's Ruiz picked to play in Latin America AmateurCoastal Carolina junior golfer Luis Ruiz has been selected to [more]

CAC swimmers clean up on medals at Tiger Invitational

CAC swimmers clean up on medals at Tiger InvitationalThe Coastal Aquatic Club (CAC) sent 37 swimmers to compete [more]

MB grad Sessions waived during 11th NBA season

MB grad Sessions waived during 11th NBA seasonFor the first time since his high school days at [more]

Horry/Georgetown Invite: CF, NMB, MB finish 1-2-3

Horry/Georgetown Invite: CF, NMB, MB finish 1-2-3The Carolina Forest High wrestling team captured the bi-county championship [more]

Battle at the Beach: MB makes it rain 3s; CA falls

Battle at the Beach: MB makes it rain 3s; CA fallsOn Friday night, a leaky roof forced the Myrtle Beach [more]

CCU Hoops: Coastal splits with visiting Georgia State

CCU Hoops: Coastal splits with visiting Georgia StateArtur Labinowicz scored a career, team and game-high 32 points, [more]

Hoops: Chiefs, Tigers use last-second shots for wins

Hoops: Chiefs, Tigers use last-second shots for winsNorth Myrtle Beach High's Cooper Chandler picked the right time [more]

MB Winter Bump tourney expects record crowd, field

MB Winter Bump tourney expects record crowd, fieldThe annual Myrtle Beach Winter Bump Volleyball Classic, hosted by [more]

Knaffle garners SCCAWS Player of the Year award

Knaffle garners SCCAWS Player of the Year awardSt. James High junior Smith Knaffle may need to add [more]

CCU Hoops: Chants split Sun Belt twinbill with GSU

CCU Hoops: Chants split Sun Belt twinbill with GSUJaylen Shaw moved into 13th place on the Coastal Carolina [more]

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls cruise past St. James

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls cruise past St. JamesThe North Myrtle Beach boys and girls basketball teams swept [more]

CCU's Ruiz makes cut, still in hunt for Masters invite

CCU's Ruiz makes cut, still in hunt for Masters inviteLuis Ruiz, a junior on the Coastal Carolina men’s golf [more]

CCU Hoops: Men, women take big road wins at Troy

CCU Hoops: Men, women take big road wins at TroyTrailing by 14 points at halftime, Coastal Carolina went on [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach