COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Clemson men’s soccer team extended its four-match win streak over rival South Carolina to five matches on Friday night, coming away from Stone Stadium with a 2-0 victory. With the win, the Tigers improved to 2-1-0 on the season, while the Gamecocks fell to 1-2-0.
Clemson held the momentum early, forcing Gamecock keeper Ian McGrane to make three saves in the first eight minutes of the matchup on shots by Quinn McNeill, Kimarni Smith and Sindri Björnsson. McNeill had two more good looks later in the half, but one was blocked and the other wide. Both sides finished the first 45 minutes with an even five shots.
The Tigers broke through in the 49th minute, when a Gamecock foul in the box led to a Tiger penalty kick, which Tanner Dieterich slotted past an outstretched McGrane for his first goal of the season, putting Clemson up 1-0. Clemson doubled its lead 19 minutes later, when Andrew Burnikel headed a goal kick towards the box, and Adrian Nuñez got out of traffic to find the back of the net from 15 yards out for his first goal as a Tiger. A few Gamecock blocked shots and a couple of Jonny Sutherland saves later, the Tigers rounded out the 2-0 victory.
“We’re happy to represent Clemson with a win in the Palmetto Series,” said head coach Mike Noonan. “I’m really proud of the team. It was incredible leadership on the field by our older players, and the energy that our younger players brought created a good away win for us. But just like we weren’t going to let the low at Creighton get us too low, we aren’t going to let a win at South Carolina get us too high. We’re going to get ready for Villanova on Monday.”
After starting the season with three consecutive road matches, the Tigers return to Historic Riggs Field for their home opener on Monday evening, when Clemson plays host to the Villanova Wildcats. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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