GREENSBORO, N.C. – Seniors Paul Clowes and Kyle Fisher were named ACC Midfielder of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year, respectively, when the conference office released its men’s soccer award winners for 2015 on Tuesday afternoon. Five other Tigers – T.J. Casner (First Team), Andrew Tarbell (First Team), Iman Mafi (Third Team), Oliver Shannon (Third Team) and Patrick Bunk-Andersen (All-Freshman Team) – also garnered all-conference awards for 2015, as voted on by the ACC’s 12 head coaches.
Clowes is the first Clemson player to earn the ACC’s Midfielder of the Year award, which was awarded for the first time in 2014. Fisher is the Tigers’ second-ever ACC Defensive Player of the Year, joining Nathan Sturgis, who received the honor 10 years ago in 2005. This is the first time since 2000 that four Clemson players have earned First-Team All-ACC honors, and just the 11th time in school history that at least four Tigers have been on the top all-conference team.
A native of Cheshire, United Kingdom, Clowes has anchored the Clemson midfield this season, and throughout his four-year career. In 2015, he has started all 18 games and played 1,593 minutes, more than any field player on the team. The Tigers’ co-captain also has two goals and one assist on the season. The all-conference honor is the second of his career, as Clowes was named to the All-ACC Second Team in 2014.
Fisher, also a team co-captain in 2015, earned his third consecutive career All-ACC honor, and his first First Team nod, on Tuesday. The Easley, S.C. product has been a mainstay on the Tiger back line for four seasons, including 2015, when he and the defense have allowed just 11 goals and a 0.60 goals against average, a figure which ranks seventh in the nation in that category.
Casner, a senior forward from Irvine, Calif., leads Clemson in scoring in 2015 with eight goals and three assists for 19 points. He also has a team-best five game-winning goals, which puts him in first in the ACC and eighth in the nation. He scored the game-winner for the Tigers in three straight games between Sept. 15-20, and earned ACC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the performance. The First-Team All-ACC honor is the first of Casner’s career.
Tarbell, a redshirt junior from Mandeville, La., was named to the All-ACC Third Team in 2014, before ascending to the First Team this season. The Tiger goalkeeper has 60 saves and has allowed just 11 goals in 1,654 minutes in net this season, while posting eight solo shutouts. Tarbell’s save percentage of .845 ranks sixth nationally, while his goals against average of 0.598 is ninth among all keepers in the nation.
Mafi has started 17 games and played 1,469 minutes on the Clemson defense in 2015. The junior from Grimstad, Norway has also played a significant offensive role for the Tigers, with three goals and a team-best five assists for 11 points, to rank fifth on the team in scoring. Mafi has two game-winning goals and is also two-for-two in penalty kick attempts in 2015.
Shannon, a sophomore from Liverpool, U.K., is fourth on the team in scoring with 13 points on five goals and three assists. The midfielder has scored the game-winner in two of Clemson’s wins this season, including in the Tigers’ 3-0 win over in-state rival South Carolina, a game in which he scored two goals. Shannon’s 2015 all-conference nod is the first of his career.
Bunk-Andersen has played in all 18 games, starting 17, on the Clemson back line in 2015. The rookie has played 1,563 minutes, second-most among Tiger field players, and has tallied three assists on the season. Bunk-Andersen is the Tigers’ first ACC All-Freshman Team honoree since 2011, when both Amadou Dia and Brynjar Benediktsson were honored in their rookie season.
The second-ranked Tigers host No. 13 Syracuse in an ACC Semifinal match on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. at Historic Riggs Field. This is the fourth-straight season that the team has reached at least the semifinals of the conference tournament. Tickets for Wednesday’s contest are available for purchase on ClemsonTigers.com or at the gate on game day.
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