Nov. 30, 2002
WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Brett Branan scored both goals in leading Clemson to a 2-1 upset win over top-seeded and number-one ranked Wake Forest in the third round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament at Winston-Salem, NC Saturday night.
Branan scored the winning goal at the 99:28 mark (:32 seconds remaining in the first overtime period). Kenneth Cutler played a left-sided corner kick to the right post. Branan headed the ball in the goal from nine yards out and into the upper right corner of the goal. Branan has now scored four goals this season.
With the win, Clemson is now 14-4-3 on the year. Wake Forest falls to 15-2-4 this season. Clemson now advances to the NCAA Tournament’s final eight. Clemson has been to 11 NCAA Final eights in school history, three in the last five years. Head Coach Trevor Adair has led Clemson to four Final Eights since he arrived in Clemson in 1995. Wake Forest is ranked number one by soccertimes.com and the NSCAA. Soccer America ranks Wake Forest at number two. Clemson is ranked 14th by Soccer America and 13th by the NSCAA. Clemson is ranked 14th by soccertimes.com.
Clemson took a 1-0 lead with 5:07 gone in the match. Branan took a loose ball and fired a shot in the net from 10 yards out.
Wake Forest evened the score with only :24 seconds remaining in the first half. Brian Carrroll sent a ball from the outside the left corner of the box. Amir Lowery scored his third goal as he headed the ball in from eight yards out.
“Wake Forest is a great team,” said Clemson Head Coach Trevor Adair. “I want to congratulate them on a fine season. I told our guys that we needed someone to step up and Branan did just that tonight, that is what it takes. I am very proud of our players. I feel it was two great teams on the field battling their hearts out and both teams did a great job, I am glad it was us who came out on top. They had more possession tonight, but we fought hard and with a little luck and chemistry we were able to come away with the win.
“We have been in a lot of overtime games this season. Our fitness level is good. We worked on the corner kick pieces yesterday. The winning goal wasn’t exactly like we drew it up, but we will take it. We feel we are a top 10 program, and we need to go to the final four. We have fallen short in the past. This year we have another chance to win the national championship, and we try to set this as a goal each year. For us to find a way to win on the road against a number-one ranked team, this team feels we can beat anybody.”
Clemson-Brett Branan (Unassisted) 5:07 Wake Forest-Amir Lowery (Brian Carroll) 44:36 Clemson-Brett Branan (Kenneth Cutler) 99:28
Shots: Clemson 8, Wake Forest 16 Corner Kicks: Clemson 4, Wake Forest 9 Saves: Doug Warren (CU) 6 William Hesmer (WF) 2 Fouls: Clemson 23, Wake Forest 17 Attendance: 3,279
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