Press Release Courtesy Clemson Athletics
No. 2 Clemson’s NCAA Run Ends in Penalty Kicks vs. No. 7 Stanford
CLEMSON, S.C. – Second-seeded Clemson was eliminated in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament Quarterfinal on Friday night after a 1-1 draw, as No. 7 Stanford advanced in PKs, 5-4. Clemson’s season comes to a close at 18-2-2, and 13-0-2 at Historic Riggs Field, and just short of a ninth College Cup trip in program history.
Stanford’s Andrew Thomas stopped Felipe Fernandez’s try on Clemson’s sixth attempt as the teams were tied, 4-4, after five penalty kicks. Stanford’s Marc Joshua converted his kick before Thomas dove to the right to stop Fernandez.
Clemson’s goal came off the head of Mohamed Seye, his fifth of the season, and Clemson’s 70th of the year. The 70 goals are the most for the Tigers, who led the nation coming into the game, since 1993.
The first half of play saw Clemson log six shots in the opening 45 minutes and holding possession in the Cardinal’s half for a majority of play. Robbie Robinson logged three shots, contributing to Clemson’s six shots in the first half. Kimarni Smith put Clemson’s lone shot on goal. Each goalkeeper logged one save in the opening period.
A Stanford corner-kick in the 35th minute saw the Cardinal take the lead, with a header finding the back of the net off of the delivery.
Clemson responded in the 69th minute when freshman Mohamed Seye buried a header on the back post on a feed from Grayson Barber. Seye had checked into the match for the first time just ten minutes earlier, and made his first chance count. The goal was just the 14th conceded by the Cardinal on the season.
In overtime, neither team was able to generate any significant scoring opportunities, which brought the match to penalty kicks.
Head Coach Mike Noonan on the match…
“I was exceptionally proud of our team tonight. We battled throughout the entire game and played some really good soccer. This team came together this year to be, and do, something uncommon. Although we’re not going to win the National Championship, they accomplished what they came together to do. They were selfless like no other team I had. They were talented. They were other-centered, in terms of how they went about everything every day. It’s hard to deal with the disappointment of never having this team together again. It was a special year.”
Noonan on the success of this team…
“A lot of people define success by what’s on the scoreboard and by trophies, but what is uncommon about this team here is that they defined success differently. They defined it as getting better every day and by chasing their dream. The scoreboard tonight is not how we define success.”
*Photo made courtesy by David Brandalise, Clemson Athletics.