Tampa, Fla. – The fifth-ranked Clemson men’s soccer team played to a 1-0 overtime victory over South Florida on Tuesday night in Tampa, Fla. thanks to senior Austen Burnikel’s heroics in the second minute of overtime. With the win, Clemson is now 6-1-1 overall and 5-0 in non-conference play.
Through the first fifteen minutes of the match, South Florida put Clemson under pressure not allowing the Tigers to find possession. In the 18th-minute Clemson quickly countered putting the ball in the back of the net but it was waved offed after the linesman raised his flag for offsides. After a scramble in the box and a goal line save by sophomore Ximo Miralles play would open up going end to end. Clemson looked to create chances, but the Bulls defense would hold strong making it tough to find shots for the Tigers.
In the second half, the Bulls of South Florida came out with high pressure continuing to make it hard for Clemson to create attacks. As South Florida continued to put the pressure on the Tigers, Miralles continued his impressive night keeping the score tied at zero with 20 minutes left to play. With 15 minutes left to play, Clemson began to find momentum finally creating dangerous chances. In the last minute of regulation senior, Aaron Jones hit the post with his free kick from 20 yards out, and the rebound fell to junior Oliver Shannon touching the ball just high sending the match to overtime.
In just the second minute of overtime, senior Austen Burnikel found the back of the net inside the six to defeat the Bulls of South Florida, assisted by junior Oliver Shannon.
In the match, Clemson took a total of 10 shots to South Floridas eight nine in each half. Miralles was strong coming off his line and clearing balls for the Tigers improving to 4-1-1 overall on the year, earning his second shutout of his career.
“Our team displayed great character in winning another tough road match against a quality opponent. USF deserves a great deal of credit,” said Head Coach Mike Noonan. “They were well prepared and played with great energy and purpose. However, I felt we got stronger as the match went on and in the end came away with the win. Credit our players! I am really proud of them tonight. “
The Clemson men’s soccer team returns to Historic Riggs Field on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:00 p.m. against No. 11 Wake Forest.
Tickets may be purchased at the gate prior to the match, or online at ClemsonTigers.com, HERE.
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