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

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of storm

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of stormMyrtle Beach area golf courses, spared the worst of Hurricane [more]

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloat

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloatThe SCHSL's executive committee voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the [more]

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awards

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awardsMyrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Jared Young was named the Chicago [more]

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane Florence

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane FlorenceJust four days removed and 142 miles away from its [more]

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting class

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting classFor the first time in Coastal Carolina baseball program history, [more]

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curve

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curveIn response to the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence and [more]

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill Classic

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill ClassicCoast FA returned to the beach with five championship and [more]

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meet

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meetThe Carolina Forest boys finished second and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Chants explode in second half to cruise past Blazers

Chants explode in second half to cruise past BlazersCoastal Carolina football used a number of big offensive plays [more]

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat Braves

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat BravesThe No. 4-ranked Myrtle Beach football team celebrated Neon Night [more]

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized Sharks

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized SharksWithout raising his voice, without screaming his face red or [more]

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeaten

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeatenJackson Weatherwax knew he had the ball. Late in the fourth [more]

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless* Hartsville 35, Conway 0: The Tigers (0-4) remained winless [more]

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off BravesThe three-time reigning state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. Blazers

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. BlazersThe Coastal Carolina football team will open up its 2018 [more]

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over Bruins

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over BruinsThe Conway High volleyball team improved to 6-0 Thursday by [more]

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settle

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settleMyrtle Beach junior quarterback Luke Doty has had this week's [more]

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over Aynor

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over AynorThe Carolina Forest girls tennis team served up a victory [more]

Chants move up in polls after acing UAB tourney

Chants move up in polls after acing UAB tourneyAfter posting back-to-back shutouts, Coastal Carolina's Chris Datallo has been [more]

Golf: Sharks claim second place at Palmetto Preview

Golf: Sharks claim second place at Palmetto PreviewThe three-time defending state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Braves, Lady Chiefs finish runners-up in XC openers

Braves, Lady Chiefs finish runners-up in XC openersMetrolina Christian Academy of Indian Trail (N.C.) swept the Chief [more]

Saints' season put on hold due to low numbers, youth

Saints' season put on hold due to low numbers, youthOne year after a breakthrough season, the Christian Academy of [more]

Close loss closes curtain on long season for Pelicans

Close loss closes curtain on long season for PelicansIn the final game of the 2018 season, the Myrtle [more]

A Day at Darlington: Rain doesn't halt racing, revelry

A Day at Darlington: Rain doesn't halt racing, revelrySunday's Bojangle's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway started with a [more]

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of storm

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of stormMyrtle Beach area golf courses, spared the worst of Hurricane [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach