CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson (4-1, 2-1 ACC) notched its 100th regular season ACC home victory on Friday night over Duke (2-3, 2-2 ACC) behind a brace from redshirt-sophomore James Brighton, who recorded his first career multi-goal game.
“It was a gritty match. Duke came set to defend and I thought they were well-coached and well-schooled,” said Clemson Head Coach Mike Noonan. “Our guys never let their heads get down and they worked through some difficult things tonight. They’ve played two matches of high physical intensity and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They showed character this week that makes a statement about this team. We’re heading in the right direction.”
In the first half, the Tigers outshot Duke 7-4 and won the possession battle, but the Blue Devils struck first by finding the back of the net in the 21st minute.
Clemson fought back and tied the game at 1-1 in the 34th minute thanks to Brighton’s seventh career goal and first of the season. After Grayson Barber’s strike ricocheted off the right post, Brighton won the rebound and tapped it past the Duke goalkeeper into the bottom right corner of the net.
James Brighton capitalizes off of a Grayson Barber ricochet to draw #ClemsonUnited level with the Blue Devils!Watch live on ACCN: https://t.co/ewWyHbaKcE pic.twitter.com/l9fqmtGuPM— Clemson Men's Soccer (@ClemsonMSoccer) October 17, 2020
James Brighton capitalizes off of a Grayson Barber ricochet to draw #ClemsonUnited level with the Blue Devils!
Watch live on ACCN: https://t.co/ewWyHbaKcE pic.twitter.com/l9fqmtGuPM
— Clemson Men's Soccer (@ClemsonMSoccer) October 17, 2020
The teams continued to trade offensive opportunities throughout the second half. With under five minutes left in regulation, Clemson goalkeeper George Marks made a sparkling save by snagging a Duke header off a corner kick to keep the score knotted at 1-1.
GEORGE MARKS! WOW!#ClemsonUnited pic.twitter.com/GJzaM0bs7c— Clemson Men's Soccer (@ClemsonMSoccer) October 17, 2020
GEORGE MARKS! WOW!#ClemsonUnited pic.twitter.com/GJzaM0bs7c
In the first overtime period, Duke received a double yellow ejection, putting the Blue Devils down one player for the remainder of the contest.
In the 101st minute, Kimarni Smith made a run down the left side and played in a brilliant cross, meeting Brighton’s head in the middle of the box and sending the Tigers home as victors. With the pair of scores, Brighton has now scored in consecutive matches against the Blue Devils.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN!#ClemsonUnited pic.twitter.com/aCaL4o6zDU— Clemson Men's Soccer (@ClemsonMSoccer) October 17, 2020
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN!#ClemsonUnited pic.twitter.com/aCaL4o6zDU
“We had great leadership tonight from our two captains,” reflected Noonan. “George made a fantastic save to keep us in the game and James scored two. It speaks to the development of character and leadership on our team.”
This was the 11th match between Clemson and Duke to enter overtime. Following tonight’s result, the Tigers are now 3-0-2 in OT against the Blue Devils while playing in Clemson. The victory marks Head Coach Mike Noonan’s 10th win when his team scores later than the 80th minute and his sixth when the match ends in a second OT period while leading the Tigers.
Clemson will hit the road next week for a matchup against the NC State Wolfpack on Friday, Oct. 23. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C. For all of the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson men’s soccer, be sure to follow @ClemsonMSoccer on Twitter