Dec. 9, 2001
Bloomington, IN – Clemson’s run at a third national championship in men’s soccer ended Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 loss to No. 4 seeded Indiana in Bloomington, IN. The Tigers finish the season with a 19-5 overall record while Indiana (17-3-1) advances to its fifth straight Final Four.
With injuries to the team’s top three leading scorers, the Tigers were unable to break an Indiana defensive line that had not allowed a goal in this year’s tournament and that had given up only six goals all season. Sophomore Steven Rhyne sat out the game due to a pulled hamstring while Ian Fuller, Clemson’s top scorer, was forced to sit out the entire second half after reinjuring a pulled hamstring he suffered in the ACC Championship game against Virginia. Dimelon Westfield, who entered the match as Clemson’s second leading scorer with nine goals and five assists for 23 points, left the game early in the second half also because of a hamstring injury.
Clemson’s best scoring opportunity of the match came with 15 minutes remaining in the first half when Chase Hilgenbrink sent a pass forward that Oguchi Onyewu headed into the goal. The play, however, was disallowed because of a Clemson foul.
After a scoreless first half, Indiana scored the first of their two goals at the 60:32 mark when Pat Noonan took a pass from Mike Ambersley and placed a shot in the top left corner of the net out of the out-streched reach of Clemson’s goalkeeper Doug Warren.
Down 1-0, Clemson’s chance at another dramatic comeback took a severe hit when sophomore defender Ricky Lewis was issued a red card and the Tigers were forced to play a man down for the remaining 15 minutes of the match.
With just over nine minutes remaining, Noonan scored his second goal of the match on an unassisted shot from 16 yard out. Noonan’s second goal was his team leading 16th of the year.
Clemson’s starting lineup on Sunday consisted of only two seniors and eight of the 11 starters where either freshmen or sophomores.
“Hats off to Indiana”, said Clemson Head Coach Trevor Adair. “They are disciplined team and they are incredibly tough at home. We played well enough to win but when we were forced to play with a man down that really hurt us. What Indiana has accomplished is incredible. We came here to win and we made some changes by putting Onyewu up front because we have been unlucky with injuries. Even after this loss, I am very proud of our team and what they have accomplished this season.”
“Doug Warren kept them in the game by making several incredible saves,” stated Indiana Coach Jerry Yeagley. “He saved four or five shots from point blank range. The first half we played in Clemson’s comfort zone and they threw a curve ball at us by playing Onyewu up top. We did not adjust and they kept us on the defensive. I give a great deal of credit to Head Coach Trevor Adair because he had his team ready to play. We were fortunate to be able to play at home today against a very fine Clemson team.”
Scoring Summary: Indiana-Pat Noonan (Ambersley) 60:32 Indiana-Pat Noonan (Unassisted) 81:01
Shots: Clemson 9, Indiana 16 Corner Kicks: Clemson 4, Indiana 5 Saves: Warren (Clemson) 4, Rogers (Indiana) 4 Fouls: Clemson 30, Indiana 22 Attendance: 2933
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