CLEMSON, S.C. — The No. 3 Clemson Tigers (6-2, 5-2 ACC) defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers (9-4, 3-4 ACC) at Historic Riggs Field on Thursday night in overtime by a score of 2-1 thanks to a spectacular brace from freshman Megan Bornkamp. Despite starting at center back for the Tigers, Bornkamp recorded her first career multi-goal game and her fifth goal of the season.
“Everything we do is to try and get better and it is safe to say we got better from this game,” said Head Coach Eddie Radwanski.
The opening 45 minutes of the match passed quickly as sharp passing and precise runs from Clemson’s pace-filled forwards allowed the Tigers to dictate the speed of play. Courtney Jones and Hal Hershfelt were dynamic in the Tigers’ midfield, with the two helping to control the match from the onset while holding the majority of possession. Clemson registered 10 shots in the opening half and forced Pittsburgh’s Caitlyn Lazzarini into making three saves. As a result of the Tigers’ potent attack, the team earned seven corners as opposed to the Panthers’ one.
The nil-nil deadlock was broken by Pittsburgh in the 49th minute via an Amanda West goal on a counter-attack opportunity.
The Panthers’ lead was short-lived, however, as Bornkamp guided the ball into the back of the net with her head amongst a congested six-yard box. The initial opportunity was created via a Makenna Morris corner kick, and after having her first header saved by Lazzarini, Bornkamp left no doubt after meeting the rebound, drawing the Tigers level at 1-1.
The two sides battled hard through the remaining time in regulation, as both teams created quality opportunities in their respective attacking thirds.
Just 67 seconds into their first overtime match of the season, the Tigers went back to what worked earlier in the match in search of a game-winner. A Renee Guion corner kick found the head of a soaring Bornkamp on the back post as the freshman fired the ball into the back of the net to end the match. Bornkamp has now scored three of her five goals this season in the Tigers’ last two matches.
This is the second-consecutive match against Pittsburgh that Clemson has scored the game-winning goal in the 92nd minute. Hershfelt was responsible for the deciding score when the two teams met in 2019.
Clemson saw a total of 15 players earn time in the match with eight logging a full 92 minutes of action. Hensley Hancuff made five saves in net during tonight’s contest. The result secured the Tigers a perfect record at home during the 2020 fall season, improving to 4-0 at Historic Riggs Field.
“Riggs is a special place,” stated Radwanski. “It isn’t called Historic Riggs Field for nothing. Even though we have a limited number of fans, you can feel the energy in this place – a lot of credit goes to Central Spirit.”
The Tigers will now shift their focus to second-ranked Florida State, as the Tigers will travel to Tallahassee, Fla., for their regular season finale against the Seminoles on Sunday, Nov. 1. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. with the match scheduled to be broadcast on RSN and ACCNX.