CARY, N.C. – Behind two second-half goals, seventh-ranked Clemson women’s soccer downed ninth-ranked Notre Dame, 3-2, in the first of two semifinal games at the 2023 Ally ACC Women’s Soccer Championship. The win moves the Tigers into their first ACC Championship game since 2002.
“We have great respect for Notre Dame, it’s always a hard, competitive game. We just felt that the last time out, we didn’t really do a true showing of who we were and we felt we could come out tonight and show people what we are capable of doing all season and being consistent with our play and I thought the first 30 minutes of that game was spectacular,” Head Coach Eddie Radwanski said. “Whoever we end up playing in the final, it’s going to be a tough game and they are playing a game as well. This team would tell you, last year we were a very good team but we underachieved, we didn’t do what we thought we were capable of so credit to these guys and our leadership group for making the commitment of wanting to make a statement this season. They wanted to show everybody who they were and I think they have been doing that all season.”
The Tigers grabbed an early lead off of Megan Bornkamp’s third goal (?) of the season in the 24’. Tatum Short sent a ball over to fellow freshman Dani Davis, who was able to perfectly place a pass right in the direct line of Bornkamp who headed it home. Goalkeeper Halle Mackiewicz made two first-half saves to keep the Irish off the board through the game’s first 45.
Notre Dame leveled the score ten minutes into the second half, firing a shot to the top right corner just out of reach of Mackiewicz. Just three minutes later, however, Short corralled a pass, weaved her way through two Notre Dame defenders and then deflected a shot past a diving keeper to give the Tigers the lead on the eventual game-winning goal.
Clemson doubled its lead in the 65’, as Maria Manousos was pulled down in the box, resulting in a yellow card for Notre Dame and a penalty kick for the Tigers. Senior Caroline Conti stepped up and drilled the PK to give the Tigers the 3-1 advantage.
Notre Dame cut into the lead in the 74’ minute, making the score 3-2, but a Mackiewicz save and some solid defense by the Tigers secured the semifinal win.
Up next, the Tigers will face-off against the winner of Florida State/Pitt in the 2023 Ally ACC Championship game on Sunday, November 5, at 12:00 p.m. in Cary, N.C. The matchup is set to be broadcast live on ESPNU.