Nov. 18, 2001
CLEMSON, SC – Ian Fuller’s first half goal and a strong defense featuring the play of goal keeper Doug Warren and All-America defender Oguchi Onyewu led third-seed Clemson to a 1-0 victory over number-one seed Virginia in the championship game of the 15th annual ACC Men’s Soccer Tournament at Clemson’s Riggs Field Sunday.
It was the 13th men’s soccer ACC Championship in the school’s history (the second tournament championship in the 15-year history of the tournament). The Tigers, ranked eighth in the nation entering the tournament, improved to 17-4 for the season. Virginia, ranked second in the nation entering the tournament, fell to 17-1-1. Both teams will now move to the men’s NCAA Tournament, which will begin next week. Clemson is ranked eighth by Soccer American, ninth by NSCAA, and ninth by soccertimes.com. Virginia is ranked second by all three polls.
Clemson scored at the 36:47 mark. Brad Gibson served the ball in the box from the middle to Brett Branan on the left. Branan headed the ball to Ian Fuller’s to the right who sent a left-footed shot just inside the right post for his 11th goal of the season, his third of the tournament. He was the only Tiger to score a goal in each of Clemson’s three victories in the tournament and he now has at least one goal in four straight games. It was the first goal allowed in an ACC game by Virginia this year, a streak that covered six regular season games plus the first game of the ACC Championship.
There was no scoring in the second half, although Virginia had considerable opportunities. Clemson made the 1-0 lead stand up. The Tigers are now 13-0 this year when leading at halftime. Clemson had to play the second half without Fuller, who suffered a pulled hamstring injury near the end of the first half. In fact, Clemson had to play the final half without its top three scorers on the season, all of who were all out with injuries.
Virginia was also without two of its key starters in Ryan Gibbs and Jonathan Cole.
This was the 13th ACC Championship for the Clemson men’s program, its first since 1998 and second tournament title under Head Coach Trevor Adair.
It also marked the first time in the 15-year history of the event that the host institution had won the tournament. The victory over the second ranked Cavaliers was highest ranked victory the Tigers since October 10, 1993 when Clemson defeated a number-one ranked Virginia team in Charlottesville.
Clemson dominated the All-Tournament team with five selections. Leading the way was Fuller, who was named the MVP. Also named to the team from Clemson were Doug Warren, Oguchie Onyewu, Ricky Lewis, and Ross Goodacre. Other players on the all-tournament team were Kyle Martino of Virginia, Sheldon Barnes of Virginia, David Testo of North Carolina, Noz Yamauchi of North Carolina, Aaron Thomas of Wake Forest and Demetrio Sanchez of Duke.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our seniors and team,” said Clemson Head Coach Trevor Adair. “We have a lot of chemistry on this team and they combine really well. It seems as if winning the ACC Championship is harder than winning the National Championship because you have to play three tough games in four days. In the second half, our goalkeeper Doug Warren had to come up with several key saves. Ian Fuller’s had several outstanding goals and overall an excellent tournament. I am proud to be a Tiger and be a part of Clemson University. Defense wins championships and that couldn’t be more true than today. What you need to win the ACC championship is luck, depth, and a team that will not be denied.”
Scoring Summary Clemson-Ian Fuller (Brad Gibson, Brett Branan) 36:47 Shots: Clemson 7, Virginia 14 Corner Kicks: Clemson 4, Virginia 4 Saves: Doug Warren (CU) 3, David Comfort (UVA) 2 Fouls: Clemson 39, Virginia 25 Attendance: 3,033
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